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at |http: //books .google .com/I 

inford Uniyersity Libraries 

3 6105 04918 6898 

.5 04918 6898 _r-_fT__ ^_ 


Good English 


~lllll SlECEieiC Mill 

i, ail »;d i£! aa ffii lie a jj,mi4^ 





STANFORD N^p/ U N 1 \' K K S I T V 

The tvtaU price of this book b f . 


pi *.TT^. '■■'.:: ' ..■•;"■"? '^.iTi 







Author op " Lessons in English," " Practical English Gbamxab/' 

"Practical Rhetoric," "Studies in English and Akerz- 

CAN Literature," " Methods op Teaching," 

"School Management," etc. 


R A UB & CO. 


\i • 



Copyright, 1897, 

— ^^ .„__^,fcj 

ELectrotVped Bif 
Wbstcott d Thomson, Philada. 

William IIutter Company, 


BbVenth and Cherry SxREEts, PhIlada. 


The object of this book is that of serving as a con- 
venient hand-book for editors, lawyers, teachers, clergy- 
men and others who have occasion to write or speak 
the English language, and who desire to do so in 
accordance with approved modern usage. 

The aim of the author has been to make the book 
helpful to all who may find it necessary or interesting 
to consult its pages, especially on the subjects of Cap- 
ital Letters, Syllabication, Syntax, Punctuation, Letter- 
Writing and Diction. 

Only those points in Grammar have been discussed 
which, it is thought, may prove most helpful to those 
who desire to speak or write the language correctly. 

Many sentences taken from the works of reputable 
writers, but illustrating violations of correct usage, have 
been incorporated in the book, and the proper correc- 
tions indicated, either in marks of parenthesis where 
a word has been improperly omitted or in brackets 
where the wrong word has been used by the author 




A list of synonyms most frequently used, and a list 
of words most liable to be misused, as given in the 
book, ought to be both interesting and beneficial to all 
who desire to express themselves accurately. 

The author hopes that the book may meet with the 
approval of all who are interested in the use of good 

A. N. R. 



First Word in a Book . . 1 
First Word of a Sen- 
tence 1 

Kumbered Clausen . . . 1 
First Word of an Eiam- 

Ple 1 

After an Introductoiy 

Woni 1 

An Knumeradon of Par- 
ticulars . 1 

Direct QiiestionB . . . . 1 

Direct (Quotations . . . 1 

Poetry 1 

Proper Names 1 

Particular Objecls . . ■ 1 

Proper At^ectives . . - 1 

Titles ] 

Names of tbe Dcily . . 1 

landO 1 

Book Titles 1 

Common Noiina . . . . 1 

Thu Kible 1 

Specitie Terms 1 

Spkciai. Rules 1 

Letter Addresses .... I 

Letter C'lo«ing 1 

A Seri^ of Questions . . 1 

Indirect Quotations . . . 1 

SeaKonB, MoDtha, Days ■ 1 

Pronouns Representing 

Names of the Deity . . ] 
Titles as Paris of Names. ] 
The Word State . . . . ] 
Objects or Events made 


culir 18 

s of rrofesHions . . 18 


Personification . . . . 1 
Words Derived from 

■ Proper Names .... 3 

Titles of Books, eta. . . i 

Names of Places . . . . ' 

Names of Cities . . . . i 

Added Names i 

Words and Pliroses . . . S 

De, dn, von, etc. . . . i 

One Capital Letter . . . i 

Two Capital Letters ■ . ^ 

f..nipk-.t Niiraea .... 5 

St. for Street i 


TheUseofthkHyphen . i 


Fiua] E . . . . 
Final Y . . . . 
Final Consonant 




Able and ible 39 

le or ei ? 46 


Nouns 42 

Number 43 

Plurals, how formed . . 43 

Nouns Ending in Y . . 44 

Nouns Ending in O . . . 44 

Nouns Ending inforfe. 45 

Nouns Ending in jf . . . 45 

Plurals of Figures, etc. . 45 

Plurals of Proper Nouns . 45 

Complex Proper Names . 45 
Plurals of Compound 

Nouns 46 

Compound Nouns from 

Foreign Languages . . 46 

Abstract Nouns .... 48 

Two-form Plurals ... 48 

Plurals of Fractions . . 60 

Collective Nouns .... 50 

Whereabouts 51 

Gender 51 

Masculine without a fem- 
inine form 52 

Names of occupations in 

common gender ... 52 

Case 53 

The Possessive Case . . 53 

Syntax of Nouns ... 54 
Mistakes in Writing the 

Possessive 54 

Possessive of Compound 

Words 56 

The Possessive when an 
Adjective follows the 

Noun 55 

In joint ownership ... 56 


In separate ownership . . 56 
The Possessive with 

Nouns in Apposition . 56 
The Possessive with a 

Pronoun in Apposition 57 
The Possessive limiting a 
Participial Noun ... 57 
The Nominative Case . 59 
The Nominative Case Inde- 
pendent 60 

The Objective Case . . 61 
The Objective Case after 

a Verb 61 

The Factitive Construc- 
tion 61 

The Objective Case after 

a Preposition .... 62 

The Case by Apposition . 65 

Same Case after a Verb . 67 

**Itisme" 68 

Notes on Nouns .... 69 

Adjectives 71 

Complex Adjectives . . 71 

Compound Adjectives . . 71 

Numeral Adjectives . . 72 

Comparison 73 

Syntax of Adjectives . 74 
Limiting Precedes Quali- 
fying 74 

Ordinals Precede Cardi- 
nals 74 

Ordinal Precedes Noun . 74 

Cardinal Follows Noun . 74 
Plural Adjective requires 

Plural Noun 76 

''A ten-foot pole" ... 76 

"I feel bad" 76 

Order of Adjectives ... 77 

"Farther," J* further" . 77 



"Each Other" .... 77 

"This," "these" ... 77 
The article before few, 

dozen, etc 78 

Syntax of Articles . . 78 
The article before * * few ' ' 

and "little" .... 79 

The article repeated . . 79 
The article before several 

adjectives 79 

"Sing the first and the 

second stanza" .... 80 
Kepetition of the arti- 
cle 81 

The article before titles . 82 

A or an before h .... 83 
None, every, each, any, 

either, neither, many 

83, 84 

All and whole 84 

Fewer and less 84 

Pronouns 86 

Two-form Pronouns . . 86 
Syntax op Personal 

Pronouns 87 

Antecedents connected by 

and 87 

Antecedents connected by 

or or nor 87 

Antecedents connected by 

as well as 88 

Order of Pronouns ... 88 

Use of we and you . . 89 
Kelative and Interroo- 

ATivE Pronouns . . 90 

Who, which, what, that . 90 
Syntax op Relative 

Pronouns 91 

The Restrictive Clause . 91 


The Relative Represent- 
ing a Collective Noun . 92 

That for who or which . 92 

Reflexive I*ronouns . 94 

Verbs 95 

The Transitive Verb . . 95 

The Intransitive Verb . 95 

Voice 96 

Mode 96 

Tense 98 

Syntax op Verbs ... 101 

Verbs having Collective 

Nouns as Subjects . . 102 

Subjects connected by 
"and" or "as well 

* as ••....■• xUtS 

Subjects connected by 

"or" or "nor" . . 105 

The Subject with Modi- 
fiers 107 

Nominative to be Ex- 
pressed 108 

Discrepant Subjects . . 108 

The Subject limited by 

Adjectives 110 

Distributive Pronouns 

as Subjects Ill 

Indefinite Pronominal 

Adjectives as Subjects 111 

Relative Pronouns as 

Subjects 112 

Relative Pronouns to be 

Repeated 113 

Connected Verbs ... 114 

Ellipsis of the Principal 

Verb 115 

Disjoined Subjects . . . 115 

The Concord of 'There" 116 

Error of Proximity . . 117 




The Verb after" Than »' 

as a Connective . . . 119 

Infinitives 120 

Participles 123 

Adverbs 125 

Phrases Modified . . .125 

Independent Adverbs . 126 

Conjunctive Adverbs . . 126 

"The'' an Adverb . . 126 

The Placing of Ad verbs. 127 
Improper use of "how " 

and "how that" . . 127 
Improper use of " when " 

and "where" ... 128 
"Like" as a Conjunc- 
tive Adverb . . . •. 128 
Complex Adverbs ... 131 
Compound Adverbs . . 131 
"Farther" for "fur- 
ther" 131 

Prepositions 133 

"Set in," "Were look- 
ed for" 133 

Appropriate Preposi- 
tions 133 

Prepositions become Ad- 
verbs 133 

Conjunctions 139 

Correlatives 140 

Introductory Conjunc- 
tions 141 

"As follows" .... 141 

"Than whom" .... 141 

"And which" .... 142 
"That" instead of 
"but," "but that," 

"lest" 143 

"Not only," "but," 

"but also" .... 143 


Words I'sed as Different 

Parts of Speech ... 145 

"As," "before," "af- 
ter," "till," "until," 
"both," "but," "ei- 
ther and neither," 
"for," "like," 
"since," "that," 
"then," "what," 
"well," "while," 
"yet" 145-150 


The Period 152 

Complete Sentences . . 152 

Abbreviations .... 152 

Complete Expressions . 153 

Numbers of Paragraphs 154 

The Comma 154 

Compound Sentences . . 154 
Relative Clauses . . . 154 
Dependent Clauses . . 155 
Parenthetical Expres- 
sions 156 

Intermediate Expres- 
sions 1 57 

Transposed Elements . 158 

Series 158 

Words in Pairs .... 159 
Words in Apposition . . 159 
W^ords in the Vocative . 159 
The Absolute Construc- 
tion 160 

Omission of the Verb . 161 

Logical Subject . . . . 161 

Quotations 161 

Numeral Figures . . . 161 

Ambiguity 161 

The Semicolon .... 162 




Parts of Sentences . . . 162 

A General Term ... 162 

Short Sentences .... 162 

Successive Clauses ... 163 

Additional Clauses . . 163 

Before*' As" 163 

"Yes'^ and**No" . . 164 

The Colon 164 

Parts of Sentences ... 1 64 

Additional Clauses . . 164 

Quotations 165 

Formal Introduction . . 1 65 

Title-Pages 165 

The Interrogation 

Point 165 

Questions 165 

Doubt 166 

The Ex clamation 

Point 166 

Interjections 166 

Exclamations 167 

The Dash 168 

Sudden Changes .... 168 

Parenthesis 168 

A Pause 168 

An Omission 168 

Summing-Up 169 

Repetition 169 

Eeflex Apposition ... 169 

Titles Run In .... 169 

Dialogues 169 

With Other Marks . . 169 

Marks of Pa renthesis . 170 

Quotation Marks ... 170 

Direct Quotations . . . 171 
A Quotation within a 

Quotation ..... 171 

Quoted Paragraphs . . 172 

The Hyphen 172 


Other Marks of Punc- 
tuation 172 

Brackets 172 

The Apostrophe .... 173 

The Ellipsis 173 

The Section 173 

The Paragraph .... 173 

The Caret 173 

The Index 173 

The Brace 173 

The Ditto Mark .... 174 

The Cedilla 174 

The Tilde 174 

The Dia?resis 174 

The Macron 174 

The Breve 174 

Leaders 174 

Book Notes 175 

A Corrected Proof- 

Sheet 176 

Explanation of Proof-Marks 111 

Sizes of Books .... 178 


The Heading 179 

The Introduction . . . 181 
The Address •• ... 182 
The Salutation .... 184 
The Body of the Let- 
ter 187 

The Conclusion. .... 188 
The Complimentary 

Closing 188 

The Signature .... 189 
The Superscription . . 190 
Invitations and Re- 
grets 192 

Hints on Letter-Writ- 
ing 193 




iBfPORTANT Abbrevia- 
tions 194 


Noun Synonyms .... 200 
Adjective Synonyms . 209 


Verb Synonyms .... 219 

Adverb Synonyms . . . 225 

PRErosiTiON Synonyms . 227 

Spurious Words .... 231 
Words Liable to be 

Misused 233 





In the employment of capital letters usage is nearly 
uniform, though occasional differences exist in the appli- 
cation of some of the rules. 

The following are the chief rules for the use of capital 
letters : 

1. The First Word in a Book, etc. — The first word 
in every book, tract, essay, etc., and of every chapter or 
section, also the first word of every note, letter, or other 
writing, should begin with a capital letter. 

2. The First Word of a Sentence.— The first word 
of every sentence or its equivalent should begin with a 
capital letter. Thus, 

" Where have you been ?" " It is a very pleasant day." 

3. Numbered Clauses, etc. — ^The first word of each 
of a series of numbered clauses or phrases should begin 
with a capital letter. Thus, 

"He stated three things: 1. That he had not been present; 
2. That his brother had not been present ; 3. That neither had 
any desire to be present." 



4. First Word of an Example. — The first word of a 
clause or a sentence, wlien used as an example, should 
begin with a capital letter. Thus, 

Ex. " To err is human." 

5. After an Introductory Word.— The first word 
after an introductory word or clause should begin with 
a capital letter. Thus, 

Resolved^ " That all land should be taxed." 

Be it enactedj etc., '* That a tax of three mills," etc. 

6. In an Enumeration of Particulars. — The first 
word of each new line in an enumeration of particulars, 
when arranged in lines, should begin with a capital let- 
ter. Thus, 

The expenses of the committee were as follows : 

For Advertising $4.20 

For Clerk Hire 10.00 

For Postage 7.00 

It will be noticed that the chief items in a statement 
of this kind or in a bill begin with capital letters. Thus, 

Mr. John Henderson, 

To William Brown & Co., Dr. 

To 4 lb. Coffee @ 30^ $1.20 

" 10 lb. Sugar @ 6^ 60 

" 12 yd. Muslin @ 7f^ 84 

7. Direct Questions. — The first word of a direct ques- 
tion should begin with a capital letter. Thus, 

"The question is, Where can we get a better?" 

This rule is taken also by some to cover an important 
statement. Thus, 

"My remark was this: If he does not do the work properly, 
he must be dismissed." 


8. Direct Quotation.— The first word of every direct 
quotation should begin with a capital letter. Thus, 

The Bible says, " Blessed are the meek." 

9. Poetry. — The first word of every line of poetry 
should begin with a capital letter. Thus, 

"Now came still evening on, and twilight gray 
Had in her sober livery all j;hiugs clad." 

10. Proper Naines. — Every proper name should begin 
with a capital letter. Thus, 

John, Susan, New York, Thomas Jefferson Jones. 

11. Particular Objects or Events. — Words naming 
particular objects or events should begin with capital 
letters. Thus, 

Niagara Falls, Fourth of July, The Statue of Liberty, The 
National Educational Association, The Park. 

12. Proper Ac^jectives. — Adjectives derived from 
proper names should begin with capital letters. Thus, 

English, American, Welsh, Johnsonian. 

13. Titles. — Titles of honor, office, or respect, usually 
begin with capitals. Thus, 

President Cleveland, General Grant, Superintendent Brooks, 
Sir Walter Scott, Mr. Williams, Richjfrd the Third, Professor 
Greene, Colonel Meredith, Mrs. Johnson. 

14. Naines of the Deity. — All appellations of the 
Deity should begin with capital letters. Thus, 

God, Almighty, the Divine Architect. 

15. I and O. — The words I and should always be 
written as capital letters. 

16. Book Titles. — In the titles of books, or the sub- 


jects of essays, etc., every noun, adjective, verb, and 
adverb, should begin with a capital letter. Tlius, 

« Helps in the Use of Good English." 

17. Common Nouns. — Common nouns, when strongly 
personified, should begin with capital letters. Thus, 

" Come when his task of Fame is wrought." 

18. The Bible. — When reference is had to the divine 
origin of the Bible, the name of the book itself or any 
particular part of the book should begin with a capital 
letter. Tlius, 

" The Holy Bible " ; " The Acts of the Apostles." 

When the Bible is spoken of simply as a book, as 
"Several bibles were sold on Saturday," no capital is 

Capital letters are used also to begin the names of other 
sacred writings, as The Koran, The Zerid AVesta, etc. 

19. Specific Terms. — The words state, academy, col- 
lege, university, park, etc., when used specifically, either 
as nouns or as adjectives, should begin with capital let- 
ters, and at other times with smaller letters. Thus, 

" The State, a state election ; The College, a college course ; 
A drive in the Park, the park along the river." 

The foregoing rules cover the ordinary cases where 
words should begin with capitals, but in the case of 
hand-bills, advertisements, etc., much is left to the dis- 
cretion of the printer. 

Special Rules. 

The following special rules for the use of capital letters 
should be observed : 

Letter Addresses. — In the address of a letter the first 


word of the salutation and of the title should begin with 
capital letters, but no other words. Thus, we write. 

Dear Sir, My dear Sir, My dear Aunt Lizzie, My very dear 
Mother, My much esteemed Friend, etc. 

Letter Closing. — Much the same rule holds good 
here; namely, that only the first word and the title 
should begin with capital letters. Formerly, many 
writers began each word of the closing with a capital 
letter; thus. Yours Very Truly, but the best usage is 
against this at present, and one should write, Yours 
respectfully. Yours very truly, 

Cy €i'm^ ^pn^ </e€i4, ^^^;^^i^^i^ 

Cy <i^n^, ©^^^ -f^^iJC^ ^/t/e€i^ ed^ee^yn^ 

A Series of Questions. — When a series of questions 
is propounded, each of which requires a separate an- 
swer, each question, though but part of a sentence, 
should begin with a capital letter. Thus, 

What is one-third of 6? Of 18? Of 24? 

What is the capital of Maine? Of Oregon ? Of Missouri? 

Indirect Quotations. — Indirect quotations do not re- 
quire the use of capital letters. 

Notice that in the following: Remember the maxim, 
"Honesty is the best policy," the quotation is intro- 
duced by the use of a capital letter, but the same thought 
may be conveyed indirectly without the use of either cap- 
ital letter or quotation marks, as follows : Remember the 
maxim that honesty is the best policy. 



Seasons, Months, and Days of the Week. — No cap- 
ital letters are used in writing the names of the seasons, 
but it is difierent in writing the names of the months 
and the davs of the week, which should always hQ^An 
with capital letters. This is probably because some of 
the months and some of the days are named after de- 
ities and persons. Thus, January (Jamis)^ March (Mars)^ 
May {Maie)^ June (Juno), July (Julius Cxsar), August 
(Augustus Cxsar), are all derived from proper names, 
and should begin with capital letters. In order to make 
the rule uniform, the name of each month should, there- 
fore, begin with a capital letter. The same is true of the 
days of the week; thus, Sunday is sun day ; Monday, 
moon day; Tuesday, Tiw^s day; Wednesday, Woden^s 
day ; Thursday, Thor's day; Friday, Friga's day ; Sat- 
urday, Saturn s day. Five at least of the names of the 
days of the week are derived from proper names and 
should begin with capital letters. In order, therefore, to 
make the rule uniform in its application, the names of 
the months and the days of the week sliould each begin 
with a capital letter. 

Names of the Deity. — As stated in Rule 14, all ap- 
pellations of the Deity should begin with capital letters, 
but usage with regard to writing pronouns referring to 
the Deity is not uniform. The most careful writers of 
English seem to favor the use of small letters rather 
than capitals in beginning these pronouns, except when 
the pronoun is equivalent to the name of the Deity. 
Relative pronouns, when referring to the Deity, begin 
with small letters. The following sentence shows the 
correct usage : "We prayed to Ilim who rules the world." 

When a name usually applied to the Deity is applied 
to created beings, no capital is used ; as, " Lord of lords^ 
King of kings,- ^ 


When the word " heaven " is used to mean the Deity, 
it should begin with a capital letter; as, "May Heaven 
protect us," but when it means the firmament, the word 
should begin with a small letter. When it refers to the 
abode of the blest, it is written by some with a capital 
letter and by others without. Usage is not uniform. 

The adjectives universal, eternal, divine, omniscient, 
etc., when applied to God, need not begin with capital 
letters, but usage requires capital letters in the follow- 
ing : Almighty God, Infinite One, First Cause, Supreme 

Titles. — When a title is part of a name, the word in- 
dicating the title should begin with a capital letter ; as. 
President Monroe, King James, Colonel Thompson ; but 
when such titles follow the name no capitals are used. 
Thus, we would say, " James Monroe was president of 
the United States," " James II. was king of England." 

When a title precedes a proper name for the purpose 
of explanation, as, "The apostle Paul," "The prophet 
Isaias," "The poet - Milton," it begins with a small 

When it is desirable to make the title take the place 
of the person's name, the title is usually begun with a 
capital letter, as in the following: "The President w^ill 
give us an audience at 10 o'clock ;" " The Teacher will 
begin his lectures tliis morning." 

In the foregoing sentences reference is made to a par- 
ticular president or teacher, and the word in either case 
has the force of a proper noun. 

The word " state " is one which is frequently written 
improperly. Where it is a specific term it should begin 
with a capital letter; as, "The State is responsible;" 
where it is not a specific term the word should begin 
with a small letter, as in the following: "New Jersey 



and other states bordering on the Ocean." In some 
printing offices the direction to the compositors, es})e- 
cially the learners, is to begin the word " state " with a 
capital letter wherever it occurs. This is wrong. It is 
correct to begin the word " state " with a capital letter 
only where it refers to a particular state, or where tlie 
individual name of the state having been referred to, 
the word "state" is made to take the place of the proper 
name itself. Thus, we write, " The State of Virginia was 
settled by the English;" "Pennsylvania lies south of 
New York; the State is noted for its manufactures." 

Even some of our best writers have violated these 
rules. Thus, Bancroft writes of the " canebrakes of the 
state of Louisiana," and Everett speaks of "the union 
of the States." 

Objects or Events Made Particular. — Words which 
particularize objects or events give them the force of 
proper nouns, and they should therefore begin with 
capital letters. Thus, we may write, " The young man 
is attending college," but " The College is the most im- 
portant institution of the village." Similarly we write, 
" The City has a beautiful park," but " The Park is a 
pleasant place of resort." 

When certain dates become the names of special 
events, the chief words of the date should begin with 
capital letters. We may write, '* Independence was de- 
clared on the fourth day of July, 1776," but " The Fourth 
of July is one of our chief holidays." So also, we write, 
" The revolution of the American colonies against Eng- 
land was entirely successful," or "The American Revo- 
lution led to the independence of tlie American colo- 

Names of Professions, etc. — When the name applied 
to a profession or calling is considered in its widest sense, 


the best usage is in favor of beginning the word with a 
capital letter. Thus, Mandeville says, " For the Bar or 
the Pulpit." It would be better to write, " The calling 
of the Teacher is honorable," rather than " The calling 
of the teacher is honorable." So also, " The prosperity 
of the Merchant depends much upon his honesty and 
integrity," meaning merchants as a class, is a better 
form than "The prosperity of the merchant," etc., 
which might refer to an individual merchant. 

Personification. — According to Rule 17, common 
nouns, when strongly personified, should begin with 
capital letters; thus, "The entrance to the garden of 
Hope was by two gates, one of which was kept by Rea- 
son, and the other by Fancy." But not every noun that 
is personified should be so written. Only those which 
are used in the sense of proper names should begin with 
capital letters. In the sentence from Milton, "Wave 
your tops, ye pines," the word pines, though addressed, 
does not represent persons, and it is not tlierefore written 
with a capital letter. 

Words Derived from Proper Names. — Words de- 
rived from proper names usually begin with capital 
letters; as, American, Welsh, French, Latinize, Wes- 
leyan, English, etc. 

The two words "italics " and " italicize " are, however, 
frequently written witliout the use of capital letters. 

Whenever a word derived from a proper name has 
lost its reference to the original name, and has taken its 
place as a common noun or a common adjective, it no 
longer is written with a capital letter. Thus, damask no 
longer has reference to Damascus, the word from which it 
was derived. So also colossal no longer has reference to 
Colossus, nor stentorian to Stentor, nor godlike to God, nor 
ariesmn to Artois, nor peach to Persia, nor mudin to Mo- 


eul; hence none of these words nor any of their kind 
are written with capital letters. The same principle 
applies to the writing of such words as china-ware, 
champagne, daguerreotype, galvanize, laconic, academic, 
and others. 

Titles of Books, etc. — Sometimes it is difficult to de- 
termine the exact meaning of an oral expression that 
may be made perfectly clear when written, by the use 
or the non-use of a capital letter. Thus, in spoken 
language we detect no difference between ^'Webster's 
Speeches'' and "Webster's speeches." When the ex- 
pressions are written or printed we recognize that ** Web- 
ster's Speeches " is the title of a book, while *' Webster's 
speeches" means the speeches of Webster. So also, 
" Longfellow's Poems " and " the poems of Longfellow " 
have a different meaning, determined by the use or the 
non-use of a capital letter. 

The same principle applies when the adjective new 
precedes a noun. Thus, "The new Ironsides" refers to 
a new steamer named Ironsides, but in the expression 
"The New Ironsides," the name of the steamer is " The 
New Ircmsideay The new Ironsides is a new boat ; the 
New Ironsides may be either new or old. 

So we write also of the prindpcd of a school when we 
refer to his duties, but when we refer to his title we 
write of him as the Principal of the school. Princeton 
University was formerly the " College of New Jersey," 
and while that was its proper title it should have been 
spoken of as "The College of New Jersey." If the 
name Princeton were necessarily used, then it should 
have been written not "Princeton College," but "The 
Princeton college;" that is, the college at Princeton. 
Notice the difference in the two expressions, " William 
Penn with a few other Friende" and "William Penn 


with a few of his friends." Notice also the difference 
between "The Planter's House," a hotel, and "The 
planter's house," the residence of a planter. 

The Lock Haven normal school is a normal school at 
Lock Haven, but the proper title is " The Central State 
Normal School of Pennsylvania." So also the Newark 
academy is an academy at Newark whose corporate title 
is " The Academy of Newark." 

Names of Places. — In many cases words originally 
beginning with small letters are now written with capi- 
tals because they have become names of places. Thus, 
Clark's ferry has been changed to Clark's Ferry, Pike's 
peak to Pike's Peak, Chadd's ford to Chadds Ford, 
Dobb's ferry to Dobbs Ferry. 

Names of Cities. — In cases where the word city is 
used with a proper name, " city " should begin with a capi- 
tal letter only when it forms part of the name. Thus, 
we write Jersey City, Atlantic City, Oil City, Mahanoy 
City, Salt Lake City, because the word city hi each case 
is a part of the corporate name ; but the word city in 
such expressions as New York city, Philadelphia city, 
Baltimore city, Washington city, is not written with a 
capital letter, because in none of these does it form a 
part of the corporate name. We ma}^ speak of Balti- 
more, New York, Boston, etc., but not of Jersey, Atlantic, 
Oil, or Salt Lake as cfties. 

Added Names. — When a new proper name is formed 
from an old one by the addition of a word, the latter 
becomes a part of the complete name and should begin 
with a capital letter. Thus, Philadelphia, West Pliila- 
delphia ; Chicago, South Chicago, Chicago Junction ; 
Baltimore, South Baltimore, North Baltimore; Chester, 
West Chester, South Chester; Canada, Upper CauAda; 
Virginia, West Virginia. 


Words and Phrases. — The rule requiring a capital 
letter at the beginning of a sentence aj)plies also to 
words or phrases comprising an entire saying of some 
other person when introduced as having been said by 
him. Thus, "He shouted, 'Help, helpl'" "Every 
tongue shall exclaim with heart-felt joy, * Welcome! 
welcome! La Fayette.'" 

De, du, von, etc. — In general, the best usage favors 
beginning these words with capital letters, especially 
where they begin a heading or a sentence. Thus, the 
correct forms are Van Buren, Van Dyck, Du Pont, 
O'Reilly. Bulwer writes uncertainly " Captain de Cax- 
ton ;" " the old De Caxtons," seeming to indicate that 
the absence of a capital is correct when a name or a 
title precedes the de; but Hood writes "Wolfgang von 
Dilke;" "even Von Raumer." 

One Capital Letter. — Goold Brown, in his "Gram- 
mar of Grammars," gives as one of his rules on capital 
letters, " Compound proper names which by analogy in- 
cline to a union of their parts without a hyphen, should 
be so written, and have but one capital ;" as, Eastport, 
Eastville, Westfield, Westtown, Whitehaven, German- 
town, Blackrock, Mountpleasant, Dekalb, Newfoundland, 
etc. He adds on another page, " I would observe that 
perhaps there is nothing more puzzling in grammar 
than to find out, amidst all the diversity of random 
writing and wild guess-work in printing, the true way 
in which the compound names of places should be 

In writing the names of places containing the word 
Haven, usage is not uniform, but the better plan is to 
begin both words with capital letters. Thus, Lock 
Haven, New Haven, White Haven. The same is true 
in words of which "Mount" forms a part. The proper 


forms are Mount Holyoke, Mount Aubtfrn, Mount Pleas- 
ant, Rocky Mount. So also the forms De Kalb and Des 
Moines are preferable to Dekalb and Desmoines. 

Two Capital Letters. — Brown gives the following as 
one of the rules for the use of capital letters: "The 
compounding of a name under one capital should be 
avoided when the general analogy of other similar 
terms suggests a separation under two." He then gives 
the following as examples : " Ben Chat, Ben Golich, Ben 
Nore," etc. Following this rule he decides that the words 
East, West, North, South, denoting relative position, and 
the word New when it distinguishes a place by contrast, 
require generally a separation of the words and a capital 
letter for each ; thus. East Greenwich, West Greenwich, 
North Manchester, South Manchester, New York, New 

There are, however, many exceptions to this rule, as 
in the names Easthampton, Northhampton, Westchester, 

It may be said that in names like Westchester and 
Newcastle usage varies. Any of these forms, New-Castle, 
New Castle, Newcastle, has authority for its usage. 
Whether the words are connected by a hyphen or writ- 
ten separately, each part should begin with a capital 
letter, but only one capital is used when the words are 
joined without a hyphen. 

The conditions under which two capital letters are 
needed aie as follows: 

1. When an adjective is added to a proper name, as 
in New York, New England, North Carolina, South Da- 
kota, Great Pedee, West Cleveland, Lower Canada. 

2. When a proper noun with a possessive termination 
is used with a common noun following it; as, Glenn's 
Falls, Baffin's Bay, Martha's Vineyard, Booth's Corner. 


When names of this kind are united they drop the 
possessive sign and have but one capital letter; as, 
Gravesend, Crowsnest, Whitestown, Scottsboro, Penns- 

3. When two common nouns with a preposition be- 
tween them are used as the name of a place ; as, Isle of 
Shoals, Lake of the Woods, Cape of Good Hope, Fish- 

Complex Names. — In names consisting of two words, 
both words are written with capital letters if the com- 
mon name precedes the particular; thus, Mount Wash- 
ington, Lake Superior, Cape May, Bayou Teche. When 
the common name of the object, as bay, mountain, city, 
river, etc., follows the particular name, usage varies. If 
the name of the object seems necessary to make the ex- 
pression intelligible, it is best to begin both words with 
capital letters. Thus, when we speak of Hudson's Bay, 
we could not appropriately call it "the Hudson's;" so 
also of Long Island Sound, Albemarle Sound, Hampton 
Roads, Cape Cod Bay, Delaware Bay, White Mountains, 
Rocky Mountains. Both capital letters, in each case, 
seem to be necessary in these words, especially in the 
example last named. Most mountains being rocky there 
must be a distinction between " the rocky mountains " 
and "the Rocky Mountains." 

In complex names where the first word conveys the 
meaning intelligibly without the use of the other, the 
capital letter in the second word does not seem neces- 
sary. Thus, we may refer to the Susquehanna river as 
" the Susquehanna," to the Hudson river as " the Hud- 
son," to the Mississippi river as "the Mississippi," to the 
Catskill mountains as " the Catskills," and our language 
will in every case be intelligible. The words mountains, 
rivers, etc., in such expressions need no capital letters. 


The same is true of nearly all the oceans. We may 
write " the Atlantic ocean " or " the Atlantic ;" " the Pa- 
cific ocean " or " the Pacific," the distinguishing name 
of the natural body of land or water being sufficient to 
make the meaning intelligible. The distinction is clearly 
shown in speaking of " the Delaware " and " Delaware 
Bay." The first term would not be mistaken for the 
second. The first refers only to the river. 

When an adjective forms part of a geographical name 
it should begin with a capital letter; as, Green Moun- 
tains, Green Bay, White Mountains, Red River. 

A good rule for the use of capital letters in complex 
names is as follows: When both names are necessary to 
express the meaning, each should begin with a capitid 
letter; thus, Green Mountains, Casco Bay, Bering's 
Strait, Berkshire Hills, Chapel Hill, Rocky Point, Mam- 
moth Cave, Block Island, Michigan City, Fair view Vil- 
lage, Bunker Hill, Central Park. 

When only one name is needed to make the meaning 
intelligible only the proper name of the object should 
begin with a capital letter; as, Missouri river, Adiron- 
dack mountains, Mediterranean sea. Pacific ocean, Wash- 
ington city. ' 

Street. — St. as the abbreviation for street is by some 
written without a capital letter ; but there seems to be 
no good reason why this should deviate from the rule. 
Chestnut St. is better than Chestnut st. It requires the 
two terms to make the name. It is true that authority 
may be given for either form. Irving wrote the expres- 
sion, "Mulberry street," and Bryant the expression, 
" Grand Street," but John Wilson, an excellent author- 
ity on such matters, writes "School Street," and the 
Atlantic Monthly, "Nassau Street." 

Goold Brown seems to claim that a hyphen should 


occasionally be used to make an expression clear, and 
he would write "The New- York Directory," claiming 
that without the hyphen the plirase might mean the 
new directory for York : but this position is not tena- 
ble. If a new directory for York were meant, the word 
" new " should not begin with a capital letter, and the 
expression should read ** The new York Directory." The 
"New York Directory" is a directory for New York, 
either new or old. If a new one is meant it may be 
written " The new New York Directory," in which the 
second word new is part of the name of the city. In 
general, it may be said that unless there is good reason 
for using a capital letter it is better to use a small letter 
instead. The tendency of the uncultured is to use more 
capitals than are necessary. 

Errors in the use of capital letters are frequent even 
among reputable writers. We append some examples 
to show how even the best informed may sometimes 
violate the current rules. 

1. The Lord mayor of London's authority. — Murray* 8 Gram- 

2. We stayed a month at lord Lyttleton's, the ornament of 
his country. — Id, 

8. The Chestnut ridge is about twenty-five miles west of the 
AUeghanies, and Laurel ridge ten miles further [farther] west. 
— Balbi*8 Geography, 

4. Staten Island, an island of New York, nine miles below 
New York City. — Universal Gazetteer, 

6. He who sells a christian sells the grace of God. — Magazine. 

6. In colleges and halls in ancient days, 

There dwelt a sage called discipline. — Wayland, 

Goold Brown gives the following as written incorrectly. 
They are taken from Williams^ Universal Gazetteer, 

"Salt Creek, the name of four towns in different parts of 


Ohio ; White Clay, a hundred in Newcastle county, Delaware ; 
Newcastle, a town and halfshire of Newcastle county, Dela- 
ware ; Sing Sing, a village in West Chester county, New York ; 
White Water, a town of Hamilton county, Ohio ; Red Hook, a 
town of Dutchess county. New York, on the Hudson ; Kinder- 
hook, a town of Columbia county. New York ; Charles City, 
James City, Elizabeth City, names of counties, not cities." 

Mr. Brown would in each of these names join the two 
words with a hyphen or reject the second capital letter 
and make each name a name of one word. Present 
usage does not sustain Mr. Brown. 

Note. — ^As regards the name White Clay, in Delaware, which is 
the name of both a creek and a political division known as a hun- 
dred, a peculiar local pronunciation has become established which 
would not be recognized elsewhere. The name of the stream is 
known as Whitely Creek, though spelled White Clay Creek, and of 
the hundred, Whitely Greek hundred. 


Syllabication is the process of dividing words into 
the syllables of which they are composed. 

The following are the most important principles to be 
followed in the division of words into S3'llable8: 

1. Words should he divided usually according to their 
prefixes, suffixes, or grammatical endings if they have 
any. Thus, re new, larg fr, wis dnvi, hurtful, rock y, ci der. 

2. Compound words should be divided into the simple 
words of which they are composed. Thus, millwheely 
pen man, fore most, tea kettle. 

3. When the derivation and the pronunciation seem 
to conflict, the division should be made according to the 
pronunciation rather than the derivation. Thus, rep re- 
sent a tive rather than re pre sent a tive; ap a thy rather 
than a path y ; pred i cote rather than pre di cate; ther- 
mom e ter rather than titer mo me ter; as cribe rather than 
a scribe. 

4. In dividing words we should give to every syllable 
all the letters necessary to the correct pronunciation of 
that syllable. Thus, preface not preface, matron not 
mat ron, twin kle not twink le, bril liant not brill iant. 

6. A word having two or more syllables may be di- 
vided at the end of a line, but only at the end of a syl- 
lable. In applying this principle the part on either line 
should consist of two or more letters, otherwise the word 
should not be divided. 

It is important also that the word should be so divided 



as to convey no misconception at first glance. Thus, a 
word like occurrences is better divided occur rences than 
occurrenc es. 

6. Two or more words conveying a single idea should 
be united ; as, beehive, steamboat, complanter. 

7. Consonants should be joined with the vowels whose 
sounds they modify. This is but another form of stating 
the third principle named. Thus, we divide reformation 
into refor ma tion or re for ma tiorn according to the mean- 
ing of the word as governed by the pronunciation of the 
first syllable. 

8. Diphthongs and triphthongs are not divided. Thus, 
we write buoy ant, loy at, boy ish. 

When two vowels come together and do not form a 
diphthong, they form parts of separate syllables, and 
they may be divided ; as, a e ri al, co op er ate, zo ol o gy, 
etc. • 

9. When a single consonant comes between two vow- 
els, if it does not shorten the sound of the first vowel 
it goes to the second ; as, re bel, ea sy, co zy, era zy, 
8tu dent, 

10. When a single consonant comes between two vow- 
els it goes to the first vowel if the vowel sound is thereby 
shortened ; as, reb el, heav y, stud y. 

11. When a mute and a liquid come between two 
vowels the same principle applies ; the first consonant 
goes to the first vowel if that vowel is thereby short- 
ened ; as, dt ron, pat ronize; but when the first vowel is 
not shortened both consonants go to the second vow^el ; 
as, pu trid, pa trol. 

12. When a liquid and a mute coming between two 
vowels blend with the first vowel, they are generally not 
separated ; as, post age, icest ern. 

13. When a liquid and a mute coming between two 


vowels do not blend with the first vowel they are sep- 
arated, as in dan ger. 

In other cases two consonants occurring together are 
usually separated, as in geti der, em pire, col lee tion. 

Close attention to principle Seven would have saved 
some of our grammarians grave doubts, one of whom at 
least seems to be in a quandary as to whether the words 
river and fever should be divided ri ver and fe ver or 
riv er and fev er. 

It will be noted, by this same principle, that Walker's 
rule that a consonant coming between two vowels must 
go to the latter, is incorrect ; but even principle Seven, 
while general in its application, seems to have some 
exceptions in such words as rising^ sizable^ and dronish. 

The Use of the Hyphen. 

The use ^f the hyphen is considered here because of 
its importance in connection with syllabication. 

Compound words, or those made up of two or more 
words, sometimes require a hyphen to connect their parts. 

The following are the most important principles gov- 
erning the use of the hyphen : 

1. Permanent compounds, such as bookseller, penman, 
and shoemaker, are consolidated ; while temporary com- 
pounds, such as good-natured, laughter-loving, etc., require 
a hyphen. 

2. Words regularly united, and usually known as com- 
pound words, should not be broken. Tlius, railroad is a 
better form than rail road, red-hot is better than red hot, 
and well-being better than well being, 

3. The hyphen is used to join the parts of com- 
pound words that do not suflBciently coalesce without 
it; as, dew-drop, curly-headed, rosy-cheeked, Jorty-five, to- 


4. The compounding of words is sometimes necessary 
to make the meaning clear. Thus, there is a well-defined 
difierence between a glass-house^ a place for making glass, 
and a glass house, which is a house made of glass. So, 
also, the distinction between a live oak, a living oak, and 
a live-oak, a species of evergreen, is made clear by the 
use of the hyphen. So, also, the hyphen makes clear 
the distinction between a singing bird and a singing-bird, 
a dog^s ear and a dog^s-ear, many colored goods and many- 
colored goods. 

When part of a word is common to two or more con- 
secutive words it should be left separate or be used with 
both words. Thus, we may write of " the minute and 
the second hand of a watch ;" better, *' the minute-hand 
and the second-hand of a watch.'' 

When several compounds occur together, it is usually 
best to combine them in groups; as, "Cripple-Creek 
gold-mines ;" " Broad-Mountain coal-fields." 

A phrase used as an epithet or as a modifier is com- 
pounded, and the hyphen used ; as, a " never-to-be-for- 
gotten " event, a " flower-bedecked " meadow, an " I-am- 
surprised " expression of countenance. 

When compounds are formed by the union of a pos- 
sessive and the noun limited, if the meaning is lit- 
eral, both possessive sign and hyphen disappear; thus, 
tradesman, doomsday, ratsbane. When these same terms 
have not a literal meaning, as hound^s-tongue, beards-foot, 
or wolfs-bane, names of plants, both possessive sign and 
hyphen are retained. 

When the compound term is used as an adjective, 
both the possessive sign and the hyphen are retained, as 
in the expressions, " a camelVhair shawl," " neat's-foot 
oil," " a bird's-eye view." 

A phrase having a possessive and used as a proper 


name retains the possessive sign but does not take the 
hyi)hen ; as, Hare's Corner^ SeiveWa Point. 

Cardinal numbers from twenty to one hundred are 
written with a hyphen ; thus, twenty-one^ sixty-seven, 
eighty-four. So also fractions ; as, two-thirds^ three-fourths^ 

A foreign phrase that is used as an epithet, or whose 
parts have so lost their meaning as to become Anglicized, 
is written with a hyphen ; as, piano-forte^ billet-doux. But 
if the words convey their original meaning, they remain 
separate and no hyphen is used; thus, habeas corpus, 
scire facias, casus belli. 

Prefixes, or similar parts, are not consolidated with 
the rest of the word if they stand before a capital letter, 
and the hyphen is used to separate; thus, pi-e-Adamitej 
ex-President, Anglo-Saxon, anti-Deviocratic. 

The hyphen is used also to preserve the separate 
sense of the parts of a compound term, as in eUctro- 
magnetism, vice-admiral, hydro-carbon. 

The words to-day^ to-night and to-morrow should always 
be written with a hyphen. 

The tendency to consolidation in compounds seems to 
be well marked. Thus, the word schoolhouse was orig- 
inally written as two words, school house ; later the hy- 
phen was inserted, making it a single word, school-house, 
each syllable taking equal stress ; later still the accent 
was shifted to the word school, and the hyphen was 
dropped, and it seems to be the general rule in these 
compounds that where the accent shifts to a single syl- 
lable the hyphen disappears. 

Some amusing errors, occasioned by the misuse of the 
hyphen, are here presented, together with the names of 
the authors. 

Webster's Spelling Book tells us that " men load hay 


With a pitch fork;" also that "it is no more right to 
steal apples or water melons than money." 

The following are taken from prominent writers : 

"She formed a venry singular and unheard of project." — 

"I judge not my ownself, for I know not my ownself." — 

" Our discriminations of this matter have been but four footed 
instinct." — Rushy on the Voice. 

"A tin peddler will sell tin vessels as he travels." — Noah 

"The town has been for several days well behaved." — The 

" Both the ten and eight syllable verses are iambic." — Blair's 

" Obscured, where highest woods, impenetrable 
To star or sun-light, spread the umbrage broad." 

— Milton, 

" He manylanguaged nations has surveyed." — Pope. 

"Bluntwitted lord, ignoble in manner." — Shakespeare, 

"You might have trussed him and all his apparel into an 
eel-skin." [Notice there is but one accent.] — Shakespeare, 

"They may serve as land-marks to show what lies in the 
direct way of truth." — Locke, 

" A falling off at the end always hurts greatly." — Blair, 

"The north west winds from the high lands produce cold, 
clear weather." — Webster, 

" The soldiers, with down cast eyes, seemed to beg for mercy." 
— Goldsmith. 

"His head was covered with a coarse worn out piece of 
cloth." — Goldsmith. 

" Constantia saw that the hand writing agreed with the con- 
tents of the letters." — Addison, 

" Hunting, and other out door sports, are generally pursued." 
— BalbVs Geography, 

" The consequences of any action are to be considered in a 
two fold light." — Wayland, 


'*The time when screech-owls cry and bandogs howl." — 

"The greatest part of such tables would be of little use to 
English men." — Priestlifs Grammar, 

" They have put me in a silk night-gown and a gaudy foors 
cap." — Addison. 

An old song runs, 

" We'll wander where the cows-lips bloom." 


It is not the province of this book to decide whether 
the rules for spelling should be taught in schools or not. 
There are many words, of course, to which the usual 
rules do not apply, but that is no reason why we should 
not familiarize ourselves with the rules so far as they do 

The following are the most important rules for spelling: 

1. Final E. — Words ending in silent e generally drop 
the e on receiving an additional syllable beginning with 
a vowel; as, ice, icy; move, moving; advise, advisable, 

2. Words ending in silent e generally retain the e on 
receiving an additional syllable beginning with a conso- 
nant; nB, wise, wisely ; shame, shamefid. 

The following are exceptions to the rule : 
Duly, truly, wholly, awful, nursling, wisdom, judg- 
ment, abridgment, acknowledgment, argument, and (ac- 
cording to some authorities) lodgment. 

3. Pinal Y. — Words ending in y preceded by a conso- 
nant sound change the y into i before any other termina- 
tion or additional syllable than 'a and those beginning 
with i; as, pretty, prettily. 

The following are exceptions : 

a. Y is changed to e in beauteom, duteous, bounteous, 
piteous, plenteous. 

b. In the derivatives of dry (except drier, driest), shy, 
sky, sly, spry, wry, the y is not changed. 

4. When a vowel precedes the final y, or when a suf- 



fix is added beginning with t, the y is generally retained 
in words receiving an additional termination; as, boy^ 
The following are exceptions to the rule : 
Pay, paid; lay, laid, lain; day, daily; say, said, saith; 
slay, slairiy together with the compounds of the fore- 

6. Pinal Consonant. — Monosyllables and words ac- 
cented on the last syllable, ending with a single conso-" 
nant preceded by a single vowel, double the final conso- 
nant on taking an additional syllable beginning with a 
vowel; as, run, running; begin, beginning. 

The following are the exceptions : 

a. In the derivatives of the word gas, the s is never 

b. The letters x, i, t?, are never doubled. 

6. When a word ends with two consonants, when the 
last consonant is preceded by a diphthong, or when 
the accent is not on the last syllable, the final con- 
sonant is not doubled on taking an additional sylla- 
ble beginning with a vowel; as, hghi, fighting ; benefit^ 

Crystal, crystalline is an exception. 

Monosyllables which end in /, /, or «, preceded by a 
single vowel, end in a double consonant; as, off, will, 

The words defy if, of are written with a single /, and 
the words as, gas, has^ was, is, his, this, yes, us, thus, pus^ 
with a single s. 

Monosyllables ending in any other consonant than /, 
I, or s do not end with a double consonant. 

The following are exceptions: add, ebb, egg, err, inn, 
burr, purr, butt, buzz, fuzz. 



The words in, 6ur, but^ conform to the rule. 

Final x, being equivalent to A», is not doubled, nor is 
the firfal consonant doubled when it follows a single 
vowel preceded by qu^ which is really equivalent to kw. 

If the derivative does not retain the accent on the last 
syllable of the root-word, the final consonant is not usu- 
ally doubled; thus, refer', referencey referred^; prefer', 
'preference^ preferable, preferred^, prefer^ rible ; infer', in'- 
ference, in[ferable, inferred^, infer^rible. 

Letters doubled in the Latin are usually doubled in 
the English without regard to accent or any other prin- 
ciple; as, excel, excellent, excellence; m&ame, inflammable, 
inflammation; Britain, Britannia, Britannica, 

The dictionaries of Webster and Worcester differ some- 
what in the application of Rule 6, with reference to the 
spelling of derivatives whose primitives end in L Wor- 
cester has reveller, traveller, etc., while Webster follows the 
rule, and writes the words, leveler, reveler, traveler, etc. 

There seems to be no irecessity for the principle quoted 
by Goold Brown, that the final I of words ending in el 
must be doubled before another vowel, lest the power 
of e be mistaken and a syllable be lost in such words as 
traveler, dudlat, marvelous, gravelly. Only the last of these 
seems to require the doubling ot the I to distinguish it 
from the word gravelly. 

When ly follows I, as in really, orally, woolly, etc., there 
is no doubling, but simply a joining of the suflBx ly to 
the root. When, however, ly follows words ending in II, 
one of the Ts is dropped, as in full, fully ; droll, drolly. 

In compound words, when three letters of a kind 
come together, one is dropped, as in chaffinch, or a hy- 
phen is used, as in ill-looJcing, still-life. 

In general, words ending with any double letter retain 
both letters when followed by any termination not be- 


ginning witli tlio same letter, and drop one of the letters 
wlien followed by a termination beginning with the same 
letter; as, agree, agreement ; tree , freedom, freer ; see, seeing^ 
itcer ; shrill, ehriU/ness, shrilly. 

Some writers reject one I when full or ness is added to 
a word ; as, skill, sldlfxd; but Webster and others retain 
the Uj and write willful, ekillfid. 

In derivatives from the words bias, worship, kidnap^ 
some writers double the final consonant, but the usual 
custom is to follow the rule, and write the words, biased, 
worshiped, worshiper, kidnaper. 

According to Goold Brown, the final U is peculiar to 
monosyllables and their compounds, with the few deriv- 
atives formed from such roots by prefixes; hence, all 
other words that end in I should end with a single I; as, 
excel, repel, withal, control, damsel, consul, tranquil. 

The words distill and instill, as given by Webster, may 
be properly written w^ith annul, until, as instil, distil, be- 
cause they are not derivatives of tiU. 

Most writers agree that words ending in ce or ge, 
should retain the e before able or ous, to preserve the 
soft sound of c or j ; as in traceable, courageous, charge- 

The e is also retained in singeing, swingeing, tingeing, 
to avoid confusion with the words singing, swinging, ting- 

Judgment, abridgment, acknowledgment are now written 
without the e, but the older authorities, Walker, Cobb, 
Lowth, Beattie and others, wrote these words with the e 

When the final e is preceded by a vowel it is some- 
times omitted on taking an additional syllable ; as, due, 
duly; awe, awful; true, truly; argue, argum£/nt; blue, 
bluish; but we write blueness, trueness, eyeless. 


While the rule for the changing of the final y to t, 
when preceded by a consonant, applies to derivatives, it 
does not apply to compounds. Thus, we have 'penniless 
but pennyworth^ merciful but mercy-seat. 

Before ing and ish the final y is retained to prevent 
the doubling of i; as, pity, pitying^ baby, babyish. 

Words ending in iCy dropping the €, change the i into 
y to prevent doubling the i on taking an additional syl- 
lable beginning with i; as, die, dying; lie, lying, 

Ize or ise? — In words ending in ize or ise, sounded 
alike, as in size and wise, z is used in such as are formed 
essentially by means of the termination; as, apologizey 
philosophize^ sympathize, brutalize; and s is used in such 
as are formed essentially by means of prefixes ; as, rise, 
arisCy advise, devise, supervise, surmiscy comprise, compromise. 

There are, however, many exceptions to this rule, as 
in the words advertise, catechise, chastise, criticise, exercise, 
exorcise, merchandise; also, size, assize, capsize, detonize, reo 

If the rule could be made efiective it would be the 
means of rejecting many variable spellings. 

Some words ending in II drop one / in composition ; 
as, all, always; full, beautiful, artfxd; well, welfare. 

Of words ending in or or our, there are more than 
three hundred, but few of them now, in America at 
least, retain the form our. Labour, behaviour, honour, 
and endeavour, though occasionally so written in Eng- 
land, are, in the United States, written with the termina- 
tion or instead of our, and this whole class of words will 
probably at no distant day become uniform in the use 
of the termination or, just as the k has disappeared from 
such words as musich, publick, logick, etc. 

Able and ible. — It is frequently diSicult to remem- 
ber which of these endings to use in the writing of 


certain words. Is it collectable or collectible f The only 
safe guide seems to be one's knowledge of Latin. For 
the first conjugation the termination is abiliSj from 
which we get able, as in arable. For the second con- 
jugation the termination is ibilis, from which we get 
ible, as in docible. For the third and the fourth conju- 
gation it is ibiliSj giving us ible. But to one who has not 
been a student of Latin these rules will be of little use, 
and yet nothing more satisfactory can be offered. 

The tendency at the present time in the case of such 
words as center, is to use the termination ter rather than 
ire, though either is correct, and we may write center or 
centre, theater or theatre. 

Many words of the language have two or more forms, 
with authority for each ; as, plough, plow ; inquiry, en- 
quiry ; hight, height ; indorse, endorse ; meter, metre. 

Frequently words are written by inserting an apostro- 
phe for an omitted letter or letters. Thus, we have don^t 
for do not, doesnH for does not, i&nH for is not, wonH for woU 
not, the old form of will not, FU for I will, sha^nH for shall 
not, ma^am for madam. His and ii^s for it is, e'en for even, 
eW for ever, oW for over, pr^ythee for I pray thee, o^clock for 
of the clock, and many others. 

le or ei? — In words contiiining the combinations ie or 
ei, c is usually followed by ei and the other consonants 
by ie, but there are some exceptions to this rule; as, 
seize, seizure, leisure, weird. 

Always write c with ian, never tian. 

A late writer on orthography says there are only 
eleven efies, derived from arefy, calefy, humefy, liquefy, 
madefy, rarefy, 'putrefy, tabefy, torrefy, stupefy, defy; thus, 
liqaefied, rarefied, etc. All the others are ifies; as, sim- 
plify, &\m^\ified, verify, verifies, verified. Even of the 
eleven efies, not more than six are words in common use. 


The object of this book is not to give a full discussion 
of the subject of English Grammar, but simply to pre- 
sent such points in both the etymology and the syntax 
of our language as are likely to be interesting and useful 
to writers and speakers. 

There are many parts of grammar which, while use- 
ful and interesting to the student and the teacher of 
English, are of comparatively little importance to one 
who desires simply to know how to write or speak the 
language correctly. These it has been thought best to 
omit, as being in a measure foreign to the purpose of 
giving practical help in the use of good English. 

The words of our language are divided according to 
their use into classes called parts of speech. These 
classes are known as nouns, pronouns, adjectives, verbs, 
adverbs, prepositions, conjunctions, and interjections. Under 
this classification adjectives are made to include articles, 
and verbs to include participles. 

Every word in the English language may be placed in 
some one of these classes, according to the use made of 
the word in expressing thought. 

Each of these classes has its special function, — the 
noun to represent names of things ; the pronoun to act 
as a substitute for a noun ; the verb to express action, 
state or being; the adjective to modify the meaning of 
a noun or a pronoun ; the adverb to modify the mean- 
ing of an adjective, a verb, or another adverb; the 



preposition to show relation; the conjunction to con- 
nect; and the interjection to express emotion. 


Any name of an object is a noun. The word object, 
as here used, is meant to include anything that can be 
thought of, whether perceptible to the senses or not 
For instance, the senses give us no perception of time, 
cause, space, and other intuitive ideas, or of spirit, soul, 
or the mind itself, but we know that all these things 
exist, and their names are therefore classed as nouns. 

The names of signs, symbols, words, etc., are nouns 
when spoken of, as the italicised words in the following 
sentences: "-4 is a vowel;" " The is usually an article;" 
"/ is a pronoun;" " + {plus) is the sign of addition." 

Any part of a sentence when used as a name may be 
called a noun, as the phrase admission free in the follow- 
ing : " Admission free " was posted on the walls. 

The most important division of nouns, so far as writ- 
ing correctly is concerned, is that into Common and 
Proper nouns; that is, names representing classes; as, 
hoy^ girl, ocean, city ; and nouns having individual or 
particular names ; as, John, Mary, Atlantic, Philadelphia, 

The chief thing to be observed in the writing of nouns 
is that every proper noun should begin with a capital 

When a proper noun is made to denote a class, as 
"He was the Cicero of his age;" that is, "the orator of 
his age," it becomes a common noun, but the capital 
letter is retained. 

When a common noun is used as the name of a par- 
ticular object, it becomes a proper noun, and is written 
with a capital letter; as, "The Park;" "The College;" 
"The River." 


When two or more words are used to express but one 
proper name, as General Meade, William Henry Eussell, 
Queen Victoria, Duke of Kent, Chesapeake Bay, it consti- 
tutes but one name, known as a complex proper noun, 
and each of its principal or component parts begins 
with a capital letter. 

When a noun consists of two or more parts consoli- 
dated or united by a hyphen, as grandfather, son-in-law, 
it is known as a compound noun. 

Many proper names, of which there are said to be 
over 70,000 of places alone, had their origin in common 
names or common adjectives; thus. Brook, Dale, Hill, 
Woods, Rivers, Waters, — names of natural objects ; Brown, 
White, Green, Black, Gray, — names of colors ; Smith, Car- 
penter, Driver, Seaman, Sailor, Fisher, Bishop, — names of 
Occupations ; Wolf, Fox, Sheep, Bear, Beaver, -Hare,— names 
of animals. 

Frequent compounds occur, as Whiteman, Greenman, 
Greenwood, Gottlieb (God love), Greenhut (green hat), Pe- 
terson (son of Peter), Johnson, Jackson, Williamson. 

Nouns are further divided into collective, verbal, and 

The collective noun is the name of a group or collec- 
tion ; thus, flock (of sheep), herd (of cattle or swine), 
drove (of horses), covey (of partridges), audience (of hear- 
ers), bevy (of girls), group (of paintings), crowd (of peo- 
ple), congregation (of people), school (of learners), are all 
collective nouns. 


One of the chief things to be considered in connection 
with nouns is number. 

1. Usually nouns form their plurals by annexing s to 
the singular when the sound of that letter will coalesce 


with the last sound of the singular form of the word ; 
as, girl, girls ; tree, trees ; book, hooks, 

2. When the sound of s will not coalesce with the last 
sound of the singular form, as in the word jox^ es is 
added. Thus, fox, foxes; church, churches; ash, ashes; 
bush, bushes. 

An attempt to pronounce any of the words in the pre- 
ceding paragraph by adding s to the singular form will 
at once show that es, which has the 2-sound, is preferable 
to s as an ending. 

The foregoing rules cover most cases for the forma- 
tion of the plural, but some forms require further dis- 



Nouns Endingr in Y. — The spelling of the plural 
forms of nouns ending in y follows the rules heretofore 
stated, — words ending in y preceded by a single conso- 
nant, change the y to ie and add s. 

Formerly the spelling of such words as lady, glory, 
etc., was ladiey gloiie, etc.; hence it may be said that 
these words form their plurals regularly by changing 
the y to ie, and adding s. 

Nouns Endingr in O. — Nouns ending in o preceded by 
a vowel add s only in forming their plurals ; as, cameo, 
cameos; iolio, folios. 

Nouns ending in o preceded by a consonant usually 
add es in forming their plurals; as, echo, echoes; negro, 

The following, however, are exceptions to the fore- 
going rule : The plural of two is written twos, and the 
following are usually written cantos, hxilos, juntos, quartos, 
solos, tyros, duodecimos, octavos, pianos, mementos, lassos, pro- 

Most nouns ending in /or fe are made plural by 
changing the f ox fe to ves; as, life, lives; loaf, loaves. 


The following nouns ending in / orfe form their plu- 
rals by adding s : Brief, chief dwarf ffe^ grief gulf hoof 
rocf, proof reproof safe, scarf surf turf strife, kei'chicf mis- 
chief, handkerchief 

Nouns ending in ff form their plurals regularly by 
ad^ding s; as, muff, muffs; staff, staffs, except where staff 
means a cane, when the plural is written staves (pro- 
nounced stavz). 

When other parts of speech are used as nouns, their 
plurals are formed according to Rule 1; as, "The ins 
and outs of office;" "The ifs and bvis weakened his 

The plurals of figures, letters, and symbols are formed 
by annexing an apostrophe and the letter s; as, 4-, +'s; 
*, *'s ; b, b's ; 6, 6's. In such cases the apostrophe takes 
the place of an omitted letter, as in -hes, 6es. 

Plurals of Proper Nouns.- — Proper nouns form their 
plurals regularly, by the addition of s or es; as, Caesar, 
the twelve Caesars; Mary, the two Marys; Carolina, the 
Carolinas; Dervish, DervishC'S. 

Some writers, however, use the forms the tw^o Maries, 
the Henries. 

Complex Proper Names. — In writing the plural 
forms of complex proper names, s, the plural sign, is 
added to the last word only; as, The George Washing- 
tons, the Sir Isaxjx Newtons, 

When a proper name is preceded by a title, the plural 
termination may be annexed to either the name or the 
title, or to both. The following are examples: "The 
Miss Bertrams."— Sir Walter Scott " The Miss Burtons." 
—Buhoer. " The two Miss Wellers.''— Dickens, " The 
Miss Hornecks." — Irving. "The Misses Smith." — Bry- 
ant. " The Ladies Butler:'— Swift. 

When a numeral or the title Mrs. precedes the proper 


name, the name only is usually made plural; as, "The 
two Miss Scotts ;" '* The Mrs. Welbys ;" '' The two Miss 

When the title belongs to several names, the title only 
is made plural ; as, " Messrs. Green and Wilson ;" " Messrs. 
Jones, Adams and Smith ;" '^ Drs. Brown, Good, and Hen- 

When two titles equally prominent are used, both are 
made plural ; as, " The Lords Commissioners North and 

Proper names ending in the syllable wan, not being 
compounds of the word man^ form their plurals regularly 
by adding s; as, Germans^ Turcomans^ Mussulmans. 

Plurals of Compound Nouns. — In compound nouns 
the part which names the object is made plural; as, 
schoolhouse, schoolhouses ; tooth-brush, tooth-brushes; son- 
in-law, soTW-m-Zaw? ; j^esLY'tree, pear-trees ; hanger-on. hang- 
ers-on; major-general, major-generals; attorney-general, 

In such words as spoonful, cupful, cartful, cartload, 
the words fid and load name the object or quantity; 
hence the plurals are spoovfuls^ cujrfuls, carffuls, cartloads, 
meaning one spoon, cup, or cart, full a number of times. 

If more than one spoon or cup were meant, the plu- 
rals should be written spoons fvU, cups fuU, but not with 
a hyphen or as one word. 

Compound Norms from Foreigrn Languages form 
their plurals regularly by annexing the plural termina- 
tion to the last term : as, piano-fortes, ipse-dixits, scire fa- 

A few compound nouns have both names made plu- 
ral ; as, me^i-servants, women-servants, ignes-fatui. 

Some writers add to their list of double plurals the 
word knightS'templarSj but there seems no good re«ison for 



departing from. the regular usage in the writing of this 
word, which is properly knights-templar^ as given in 
" Mitchell's History of Freemasonry.'* 

Foreigrn Nouns. — Some foreign nouns adopted into 
our language have two forms for the plural, an English 
and a foreign one. The following are some of the most 
familiar examples : 











Most foreign 
the following : 
















English Plural. 

Foreign Plural. 

names retain their original plurals, as in 















































Abstract Nouns. — Tlie names of metals, virtues, vices, 
arts, and sciences, and the names of things measured, 
have no plural form ; as, wisdom, gold, temperance, dr aw- 
ing, arithmetic, wheal, milk. 

When different kinds of the same substance are re- 
ferred to they may be written in the plural form ; as, 
sugars, cloths, etc. 

The names of sciences ending in ics, as mathematics^ 
physics, optics, mechanics, are in the singular number. 

Alw^ (almesse), news, mx)lasses are in the singular 

Some nouns have no singular form. The following 
are examples : Archives, ashes, bellows, billiards, bitters, cat- 
tle, clothes, compasses, goods, manners, measles, morals, nup- 
tials, nippers, pincers, pantaloons, scissors, thinks, tongs^ 
tidings, tweezers, trousers, shears, scales, vitals, wages. 

Some nouns are alike in form in both numbers ; as, 
deer, sheep, trout, salmon, vermin, apparatus, series, species, 
means, odds, pains (efforts), riches, etc. 

The number of nouns which have the same form in 
both numbers can be learned only by the meaning of 
the noun in the sentence. 

The w^ords head, brace, pair, couple, dozen, score, hun- 
dred, etc., having the singular form, may be either sin- 
gular or plural in meaning; but they may be written 
also with pilural forms. When preceded by a numeral 
they take the singular form; as, Four pair of gloves; 
Three brace of quail; Five dozen eggs. At other times 
they take the plural form; as, **They came in pairs f^ 
^^ Hundreds of birds were in the meadow." 

Two-form Plurals. — The following nouns have two 
forms for the plural, with different meanings: 

Brother, brothers (of a family), brethren (of a society). 
Ck)W, c(yw8 (two or more), Hne (the kind). 


Die, dies (stamps for coining], dice (cubes for gaming). 
Fish, Jishes (individuals), fish (species or quantity). 
Genius, geniuses (men of genius), genii (spirits). 
Index, indexes (tables of contents), indices (exponents). 
Pea, peas (two or more), pease (kind or substance). 
Penny, pennies (coins), pence (amount of value). 

Odds is either singular or plural. 

Pains (labor) is used as either singular or plural, but 
mostly in the singular; as, "No pains is taken," — Pope. 
" Your pains are registered." — Shakespeare. 

Means (instrument) is both singular and plural. We 
may say " By this means,^^ or " By tJiese means.^^ 

Oats is used almost wholly in the plural. The sin- 
gular is usually expressed by " a grain of oats " rather 
than by "an oat." 

Cannon, shot and shell are used in a collective 
sense; as, "Stormed at with shot and shell.^^ 

Youth and heathen have regular plurals; as, "A 
hundred youths." — Dryden. "The ancient heathens." 
— Addison. But both words are often used in a col- 
lective sense; as, "Why do the heathen rage?" — Bible. 
" They hate us youth." — Shakespeare. 

Trout, heningr, shad, etc., are often used in a collect- 
ive sense, and each word requires a verb in the plural ; 
as, "The trout live in the brook." The word herring has 
also a plural form ; as, " Myriads of herrings." — Baird. 

Sail when it denotes a collection of ships is plural ; 
as, " The fleet consisted of twenty saiZ." 

Head is sometimes used in the plural; as, "Thirty 
thousand head of swine." — Addison. 

In such expressions as " A three-cent piece," " A five- 
dollar bill," " A ten-foot pole," and the like, the word 
joined to the numeral by the hyphen loses its proper- 
ties as a noun, and as a part of the adjective retains its 



original form. An author humorously remarks that it 
would be quite as proper to speak of " they-goats " for 
the plural of " he-goat " as to speak of a ten-feet pole. 

Fractdons. — Since we speak of two-thirds, three-fifths, 
etc., it is best to read such fractions as ^, ^\, three 
twenty-firsts, five thirty-fifths. 

Collective Nouns. — The number of a collective noun 
is determined by the thought to be conveyed by the sen- 
tence in which it is used. 

A collective noun conveying the idea of unity is in 
the singular number; as, "The army has left nothing 
in its track but a ruined country ;" " The committee hag 
read its report." 

When the idea conveyed by a collective noun is that of 
plurality or has reference to the individuals included in 
the term, it is in the plural number, and both pronouu 
and verb agreeing with it should have the plural form ; 
as, " The public are invited ;" ** The jury disagreed in 
their opinions ;" " The committee were not unanimous 
in their decision." 

In rare cases the collective noun in a sentence may 
be used in both numbers ; as, " Each House shall keep 
a journal of its proceedings, and from time to time pub- 
lish the same, excepting such parts as may in ^Aar judg- 
ment require secrecy." — Constitution of the United States. 

The sentence from Irving, " There is a tribe in these 
mountains who are fairer and more intelligent than the 
other Indians," might probably be improved by substi- 
tuting the words, "whose members are fairer," etc. 

A possession or attribute common to several objects 
should be expressed in the singular. Thus, " We ought 
to be content with our lot;^^ "It is the duty of all to 
care for their health," not healths. 

Some names of building material, as bricky stone, planhy 


joist^ are frequently used in a plural sense without the 
8, especially when referred to in quantity ; as, " A pile 
of brick ;" " A cartload of stone ;" " A thousand feet of 
plank." When spoken of as individuals they may take 
the plural form; as, "Several bricks;" "A half dozen 
or more stones ;" " Two planks ;" " Some joists." 

Whereabouts. — ^A common mistake, made especially 
by newspapers, is that of using whereabouts as a plural 
noun and making it the subject of a verb in the plural. 
Thus, one paper says, " His whereabouts are unknown," 
and another, " His whereabouts have not vet been dis- 
covered." These sentences are of course incorrect. 
Whereahouta means simply location or staying-place 
and is in the singular number. 


Gander is the distinguishing of nouns with regard to 
sex. ' It has been argued by some that as there are but 
two sexes there should be but two genders. But sex 
and gender are not synonymous. Sex is an attribute 
of objects ; gender is an attribute of language. Objects 
are either male, or female, or without sex. We therefore 
have the masculine gender, denoting the names of males ; 
the feiininine gender, denoting the names of females ; and 
the neuter gender, denoting the names of such objects as 
have no sex. The use of these three genders covers the 
ground when the sex or the absence of sex is known ; 
but there is a host of names of objects whose sex we do 
not know by the noun-form, and we therefore need an- 
other gender which may be applied to such words as 
friends^ parents, neighbors, children, etc. ; that is, a gender 
which is common to names including both sexes. In 
the sentence, " I expect some friends to visit me to-mor- 
row," it might be incorrect to speak of friends as mascu- 


line, because they might be women ; it might be equally 
incorrect to speak of them as feminine, for they might 
be male friends; indeed, they might consist of both 
males and females. To attribute either masculine or 
feminine gender to the word parents, in which both 
sexes are represented, would be absurd. There is, 
therefore, a necessity for tlie Common gender, a term 
which is common or applicable to both sexes. 

Some masculine nouns have no corresponding femi- 
nine; as, printer, brewer, hostler, laivyer. This is true 
probably because originally none of these occupations 
were pursued by women. For a similar reason, some 
feminine nouns, as seamstress, laundress, have no corre- 
sponding masculine form. 

The tendency at present is to write the names of occu- 
pations in a common gender, without reference to sex. 
Thus, editor means a person that edits ; there is no need 
of the w^ord editress. We thus also write the word painter 
to represent either sex; also teacher, poet, doctor, physi- 
cian, guide, and there seems to be no necessity for such 
words as paintress, teacheress, poetess, doctress, physicianess, 
or guidess. 

Sometimes the names of animals are regarded as mas- 
culine or feminine, not because of their sex, but from 
their general characteristics. Thus, " The lion does not 
fear his enemy ;" " The fox escaped from his pursuers ;" 
" The dove coos softly in her nest ;" " Every bee minds 
her own business." — Addison, 

Such inanimate objects as are noted for firmness, 
power, boldness, etc., as sun, war, anger, are sometimes 
personified by the use of pronouns in the masculine 
gender. Thus, "The Sun rose in all his glory and 
power;" "Then Anger rushed, his eyes on fire.'' — Cot- 


Such inanimate objects as are characterized by the 
feminine attributes of gentleness, beauty, etc., are per- 
sonified by the use of pronouns in the feminine gender; 
as, "There lay the City before us in all her beauty;" 
"The Ship glides smoothly along in her course." 

In writing of children or the lower animals, sex is 
usually disregarded, and the neuter form is used; as, 
" The little child prattled on till it fell asleep ;" " The 
cat caught the bird and ate it." 

A collective noun is regarded as neuter when the col- 
lection of objects is taken as a unit ; as, " The army in 
its march destroyed much property." 

When the objects indicated by a collective noun are 
considered separately, the gender must correspond to 
the sex of the individuals; as, "The jury could not 
agree in their (masculine) opinions." 


Case is that property of nouns or pronouns which 
denotes their relation to otlier words. 

In English there are three cases, the Nominative^ the 
Possessive, and the Objective. Of these, the Nominative 
and the Objective of nouns have the same form. The 
Possessive has a special form to denote possession, the 
singular difiering from the plural. 

The Possessive singular of nouns is usually formed by 
annexing the apostrophe and the letter s ('s) to the nom- 
inative form ; as, man, man's. 

When the nominative plural does not end in s the pos- 
sessive is formed in the same manner as the singular 
possessive; as, men, m^n^s; children, childrerCs. 

When the nominative plural ends in s, the possessive 
plural is regularly formed by annexing the apostrophe 
only; as, boys, hoys'" ; ladies, ladies'. 


Inasmuch as the possessive sign always follows the 
full form of the nominative, a safe plan is to write the 
nominative form first, and then convert it to the pos- 
sessive form by annexing the possessive sign. Tlius, 
fly,/y'a; flies, ^/es'; mouse, moude's; mice, mice's; father- 
in-law, father-in-law^a ; fathers-in-law, fathers-in-law'^ s. 

When the form of the noun is the same in both num- 
bers, the apostrophe may for the sake of distinction pre- 
cede the 8 in the singular, and follow it in the plural ; 
as, " A deer's hoofs ;" *^ Deers' hides for sale." 

When the nominative form ends with the sound of 8 
or z, the 8 of the possessive sign is sometimes omitted, 
especially if the next word begins with the sound of » 
or z; as, "For conscience' sake;" "James' slate." 

In general, the regular possessive sign should be an- 
nexed unless the combination forms a disagreeable 
sound, as in the expression "Moses's laws." 

The following seem particularly lacking in euphony : 
" Demosthenes's life." — Blair. "Some of -^chylus's 
and Euripides's plays." — Blair. "Confucius's sj^stem." 

Care should be taken to place the possessive sign 
always at the end of a word. 

The possessive sign ('«) is an abbreviation of the old 
English form is or es. Thus in Chaucer we find, " The 
kyngis crowne," "The knightes tale," "In widdowes 

Syntax op Nouns. 

Of the use of the nominative form as subject of a 
sentence, little need be said. Mistakes are likely to 
occur only in answers to questions, as where one calls 
out, "Who is there?" and the answer is "Me;" or 
"Who brought the flowers?" "Me;" that is, "Me 
brought them." 


The possessive case is the one in the use of which 
writers are most liable to err. 

Compound words are formed sometimes of a possess- 
ive and the noun limited. In such cases, when the literal 
meaning is retained, the apostrophe is omitted, as in 
ratsbane, tradesman; but when the meaning is figura- 
tive rather than literal, the apostrophe is retained, as in 
JoVs'tears, wolfs-hane, hound^s-tongue, — names of plants. 

When the compound term is used as an adjective the 
possessive sign is also retained ; as, "A bird's-eye view;" 
" A camel's-hair shawl." 

The possessive sign is used with nouns only, never 
with pronouns, to denote possession. It''s is not the 
possessive case, but a contraction of it is. 

In complex nouns the sign of the possessive should 
be affixed to the last word of the name ; as, Sir Walter 
ScotVs "Tales of a Grandfather;" Henry Ward Beecher^s 

When an adjective^ belonging to a noun in the pos- 
sessive case follows the noun, the possessive sign is 
affixed to the adjective, so as to place the sign imme- 
diately before the modified noun ; as, " This is some- 
body else's book." 

The same principle applies in such expressions as 
"Edward the Third's reign." We could not possibly 
attach the possessive sign to the word Edward without 
destroying the sense of the expression. Such expres- 
sions as " Edward the Third " and " somebody else " are 
complex, and take the possessive sign only at the end 
of the expression. 

Sometimes when the last word of a complex title is in 
the objective case, it is preferable to express the idea 
of possession by means of a preposition and its object 
rather than by the use of the possessive form. Thus, 


Ui(! pxjjrcsiiion "The dominion of tlic Emperor of Ger- 
iiiuny " is ii littter exjircHsion than is " Tlio Emperor of 
(iiTiiiiiiiy'H (liimiiiiun." 

Ciiro iiiuat be taken when two or more connected 
iiiiimtt in the iio^essive denote joint ownership, to afiiz 
tin- ]i(K'st'i'«ivo sign to the kat noun only, Tims, "Fei> 
diniiiid and lotibelhi's reign," meaning one reign ; " Por- 
ter and .lolin»on's store," meaning one store belonging 
tti thf linn of I'orter & Johnson. 

Wlit'ii tivo or more connected nouns in the possess- 
ive eawe denote separate ownership, the possessive sign 
Kht'utd 1h' ailixed to each noun. Thus, "Porter's and 
Johnson's store," moaning Porter's store and Johnson's 
store. The winie thouglit may be expressed by placing 
tho word stort' after the first noun; thus, Porter's store 
omt JiJtHM'n'a, when, it will be noticed, both possessive 
si^ns U't-otne neivssjiry. The word elore retains the sin- 
liular form in tnlher expn'ssion, because it is expressed 
tittor oiu< vf tbt* Doling and understood after the other. 
If lbi> wor»i t^i-rr, foUowinjr either of these possessive?, 
wen' writlt-n in tbo plural form, it would mean that 
eiii'h pemou had two or more stons. If the thought is 
li> W vxprx'twt'tl that I'orter and Johnson own several 
Kt\»t>« in |>;irtnersliip. we should write the expression, 
fV-d*' .iM^.A'Vw'iV jri'-Yii. In fact, a single ownership, 
ttl»-lh\'V l>y one j-erson alono or by a number in partner- 
»\\\\\ t>mui\i« « !<iii}ilo i>\>sses#ive sign: separate owner- 

\\ ^^^'\\ a Uinm in thv jHwswsive cast- I 
H^mirt itk ai'|w»ili»*. the sjyu is j 

\Ht *b*- ^^^..!^«(«^V^•^pn;"'*'n^*^ 
tHUhvH *1 K\.un^'b«<',"' T1» 1 


When a nonn is put in apposition with a pronoun in 
tlie possessive case, the sign of tlie poBsesBive may Iw 
orailted from the noun ; as, " Hii success as a teacher is 
certain;" that is, fliisuecesa as a leacha'i awxea is cet- 
. tain. 

When the possessive limits a participial noun or a 
participle used as a noun, tlie possessive form should 
be used in the limiting word. Thus, "Have you any 
objection to my listening?" "The objection to your 
speaking was plausible." " Our being present seemed 
to encourage the children." 

The word limited by a possessive term ie frequently 
omitted, especially in conversation ; "aa, " We bought the 
books at Lippincott's ;" that is, at Lippincott'g store. 

If the noun limited is not expressed, we may use 
either of two forms, " At Wilson the tailor's," or " At 
Wilson's, the tailor," the second expression takintc a 
comma after the possessive sign to indicate u omis- 

Though some writers place the poesessive after the 
first of two nouns in apposition, as " We bought Uift 
goods at Smith's, the grocer," the best usa^e At^ ttnt 
sanction the practice. The sign should be put kft«r 
the second noun or after both. Thus, "^ We brmpht t'r* 
goods at Smith tlie grocer's," or " We booght the er«U 
at Smith's, tlie grocer's." The first of thes^ aprtmW,TA 
expanded means " at Smith the grocers fUin' ia ■wr >r. 
the poesesBive a^a is pbced at the end f,f H.t trm^^x 
^expreseion. The second eipreaaiw nua.ia-'n^K^'-t \ 
L(««rej the grocers store.'' The first of tL«« ^^;h 

should tu* write, «We V>ii2l.t th* v,^^ ,. 
™ of ]lK.Jg|gh" tot '^tt tU it«e r/ Mr. 



the expression " The dominion of the Emperor of Ger- 
many " is a better expression than is " Tlie Emperor of 
Germany's dominion." 

Care must be taken when two or more connected 
nouns in the possessive denote joint ownership, to affix 
the possessive sign to the last noun only. Thus, " Fer- 
dinand and Isabella's reign," meaning one reign ; " Por- 
ter and Johnson's store," meaning one store belonging 
to the firm of Porter & Johnson. 

When two or more connected nouns in the possess- 
ive case denote separate ownership, the possessive- sign 
should be affixed to each noun. Thus, " Porter's and 
Johnson's store," meaning Porter's store and Johnson's 
store. The same thought may be expressed by placing 
the word store after the first noun ; thus, Porter^s store 
and Johnson^s, when, it will be noticed, both possessive 
signs become necessary. The word store retains the sin- 
gular form in either expression, because it is expressed 
after one of the nouns and understood after the other. 
If the word store^ following either of these possessives, 
were written in the plural form, it would mean that 
each person had two or more stores. If the thought is 
to be expressed that Porter and Johnson own several 
stores in partnership, we should write the expression, 
Porter and Johnson^ s stores. In fact, a single ownership, 
whether by one person alone or by a number in partner- 
ship, requires a single possessive sign ; separate ,owner- 
ships, separate signs. 

Wlien a noun in the possessive case has one or more 
nouns in apposition, the sign is affixed to that only 
which immediately precedes the noun limited ; as, " Da- 
vid the psalmist's reign;" "The work was Longfellow's, 
author of Evangeline." The word work is here under- 
stood after Longfellow^s. 


When a noun is put in apposition with a pronoun in 
the possessive case, the sign of the possessive may be 
omitted from the noun ; as, " His success as a teacher is 
certain ;" that is, His success as a teacher^ s success is cer- 

When the possessive limits a participial noun or a 
participle used as a noun, the possessive form should 
be used in the limiting word. Thus, " Have you any 
objection to my listening?" "The objection to your 
speaking was plausible." " Our being present seemed 
to encourage the children. " 

The word limited by a possessive term is frequently 
omitted, especially in conversation ; ^s, " We bought the 
books at Lippincott's ;" that is, at Lippincott's store. 

If the noun limited is not expressed, we may use 
either of two forms, " At Wilson the tailor's," or " At 
Wilson's, the tailor," the second expression taking a 
comma after the possessive sign to indicate an omis- 

Though some writers place the possessive affcer the 
first of two nouns in apposition, as " We bought the 
goods at Smith's, the grocer," the best usage does not 
sanction the practice. The sign should be "put after 
the second noun or after both. Thus, "We bought the 
goods at Smith the grocer's," or " We bought the goods 
at Smith's, the grocer's." The first of these expressions 
expanded means " at Smith the grocer's store," in which 
the possessive sign is placed at the end of the complex 
expression. The second expression means "at Smith's 
(store) the grocer's store." The first of these forms is 

We should not write, "We bought the goods at 
the store of Mr. Smith's," but "at the store of Mr. 


Frequently it is better to denote the idea of possession 
by a prepositional phrase rather than by the use of a 
possessive term. This is particularly true of nouns in 
the neuter gender. Thus, " The roof of the house " or 
" The roaring of the wind " is better than " The house's 
roof" or " The wind's roaring." It is true, we have such 
authorized expressions as "a day's labor," "a week's 
wages," "a ship's length," "the law's delay," and a few 
others, but when an expression is not already recog- 
nized as current English, it is best to denote posses- 
sion by a prepositional phrase as in the case of neuter 

Violations of the Correct Usage of the Possessive Sign. 

Many reputable writers, through carelessness or other- 
wise, occasionally violate the rules of syntax. 

The following are illustrations of incorrect usage of 
the possessive form: 

Man only of a softer mold is mnde, 
Not for his fellow's ruin, but their [his] aid. — Dryden. 
All liars shall have their parts [part] in the burning lake. — 

And l(/ve^s [love] and friendship's finely pointed dart 
Falls blunted from each indurated heart. — Goldsmith, 
A collection of writers [writers'] faults. — Swift, 
That is, as a reward of some exertion on our parts [part], — 
Gurnexfs Evidences, 

Such was the occasion of Simon Glover [Glover's] presenting 
himself at the house of Henry Gow. — Scott. 

He pointed out the diflSculty of counsel [counsel's] doing 
public justice without preparation. — Lord Campbell. 

There are all reasons for suspicion [suspicion's] falling on 
him. — Dickens. 
■ Their healths [health] perhaps may be pretty well secured. — 



The Nominative Case. 

The Nominative Case is that which is generally used as 
the subject of a sentence. 

The subject may consist of a noun or a pronoun, or 
any word, phrase, or clause, used as a noun. 

A verb may have several subjects in a sentence ; as, 
"David and Henry have come." 

In some sentences the subject is not expressed. This 
is usually the case in commands ; as, ** Come ;" '' Strive 
to excel." In parsing such expressions the verb is said 
to agree with a noun or a pronoun understood. 

The subject usually precedes the verb, but not alwaj^s ; 
it is sometimes placed after the verb or after an auxil- 
iary ; as, ** Great is Diana;" "Why do you not come?" 
"Shall we reach the train in time?" 

The subject of a finite verb should have the nomina- 
tive form. 

The subject of a verb in the infinitive mode takes the 
objective form. We may say, " I believe that he is hon- 
est," or " I believe him to he honest." 

Violations of the Correct Usage of the Nominatiye Case. 

He has dined here and me [I] with him. — Jeffrey, 

He was by nature less ready than her [she]. — A, TroUape. 

She professed the greatest regard for the lady, whom [who], 
she assured us, was an angel. — Scott 

It is much easier to respect a man who has always had our re- 
spect than to respect a man whom [who] we know was last year 
no better than ourselves. — Boswell. 

He offered his daughter in marriage to whomsoever [who- 
soever] might jsubdue the place. — Irving, 

The very two individuals whom [who] he thought were far 
away. — B, Disraelu 



The nominative form of a noun or a pronoun is used 
not only as the subject of a sentence, but also in what 
are known as the independent and the absolute con- 

A noun or a pronoun is said to be used independ- 
endy — 

1. When it represents a person or a thing addressed; 
as, " Boys, are you ready ?" '' Gentlemen, shall we have 
order ?" " Dear Sir, I wish to see you." 

2. When it is used in exclamation ; as, " Delightful 
task! to rear the tender thought;" "Great Goodness, I 
did not expect such a result!" 

3. When by pleonasm the attention is directed to an 
object before anything is said of that object; as, "Thy 
rod and thy staff, they comfort me." 

Nouns or pronouns used in the three preceding ways 
are said to be in the nominative case independent by 
address, by exdamatimi, by 'pleonasm, 

A noun or a pronoun is said to be used absolutely, or 
to be in the nominative case absolute — 

1. When it is placed before a participle as the subject 
of an abridged clause ; as, " The teacher having come, we 
began work." 

2. When it is used after an infinitive or a participle 
of a copulative verb, as part of an abridged proposition ; 
as, *' His being a reliable nian w\as greatly to his advan- 
tage;" " To be a learned man was his ambition." 

Sometimes the nominative which should logically 
precede the participle is omitted ; as, " Admitting your 
argument;" that is, ''We admitting your argument." 

Sometimes also in the absolute construction, the 
participle is omitted; as, "The war at an end, the^ 


soldiers returned ;" that is, " The war being at an end," 

By some grammarians such expressions as the titles 
of books, the headings of chapters, the names on signs, 
etc., are considered as being in the nominative case in- 
dependent by specification. 

The Objective Case. 

There are two circumstances under which a noun or a 
pronoun may be in the objective case. 

The first of these is where it represents the object of a 
transitive .verb. The objective case may follow also the 
participle of a transitive verb. 

A verb or a participle may have several objects ; as, 
"He teaches both grammar and logic^ 

The object of a transitive verb may be any word, 
phrase, or clause, used as a noun ; as, " The boy likes 
study ;^^ "He likes to study ;^^ "He knows that whoever 
studies vnU improved 

Some transitive verbs have two objects, one denoting 
some person or thing, and the other that which the ob- 
ject is made to be in fact or thought; as, "They made 
him king;" "They crowned him king." Either of these 
sentences may be taken to mean, "They kinged him." 
Him is the direct object, and king is the factitive object, 
by some grammarians called the complement. 

Sentences of similar construction are, " They elected 
him President;" "They chose Mr. Smith captain." In 
each case the verb has the sense of to make, and the con- 
struction is called factitive, from facio, I make. 

The principal verbs used in this construction are 
choose, elect, make, appoint, name, call, constitute, render, 
consider, reckon. 

Some transitive verbs may be followed by two objects, 


the first being the object of a preposition understood 
and the second the object of tlie verb; as, "I gave 
John some rno/ie»//' When the objects change places 
tlie preposition is expressed ; as, "' I gave some money 
to John." 

The indirect object, or object of the preposition under- 
stood, is by some writers made the subject of a verb in 
the passive voice ; as, ** I was asked my opinion." The 
propriety of this usage is, however, questionable, and it 
ought to be avoided. A better form for such sentences 
is, " My opinion was asked." If the sentence be correct 
as given, there must be an ellipsis, the meaning being " I 
was asked (for) my opinion." 

The Objective Case After a PrepoBition. — ^The ob- 
jective case occurs after a preposition used to show the 
relation of the noun or other objective following, to some 
preceding word. 

The objective case is used after the adjective toorthy 
and sometimes after like, near, nigh, without a preposi- 
tion expressed ; as, *' He is like his father ;" " The book 
is worth a dollar." By some grammarians the object 
here is called an adverbial objective ; others claim that 
a preposition is understood after the adjective. 

When a noun or a pronoun is the object of two or 
more prepositions it should be made to follow the first 
preposition, and a pronoun representing it should be 
placed after the others. Thus, " He spoke in favor of, 
but voted against, the measure," should be " He spoke 
in favor of the measure, but voted against it" 

The same principle holds good where a noun is used 
as the object of both a verb and a preposition. Thus, 
'' He advocated and voted for the measure," should be 
"He advocated the measure and voted for it." 

Whom and which should be made to follow rather than 


precede the prepositions of which they are the objects. 
Thus, "To whom did you speak?" is better than 
"Whom did you speak to?" 

The word home, and nouns denoting time, space, de- 
gree, amount, direction, as years, feet, time, etc., are put 
in the objective case without a preposition; as, "The 
wall is four feet high;" "We have walked several 
miles;" "You will not be a dollar richer by the 
change;" "I have lived here ten years." In each of 
these sentences a preposition is implied. Thus, "The 
wall was high hy ten feet ;" " We have walked (over the 
space or distance of) several miles;" "You will not be 
richer (by or to the value of) a dollar by the change." 

Violations of the Correct Usage of the Objective Case. 

The following illustrations show violations of the 
principles controlling the use of the objective form : 

But first I must show who [whom] I mean by the govern- 
ment. — Benton, 

To poor we [us] thine enmity is most capital. — Shakespeare, 

He loves he knows not who [whom]. — Addison, 

Let him not boast that puts on his armor, but he [him] that 
takes it off. — Barclay, 

John Home Tooke was refased admission only because he 
had been in holy orders. — Diversions of Parley, (Admission was 
refused to John Home Tooke, etc.) 

Who [To whom] had been unexpectedly left a considerable 
sum. — Dr, Johnson, 

He [him], who had always inspired in her a respect which 
almost overcame her affection, she now saw the object of open 
pleasantry. — Miss Austen. 

Thackeray having been requested to write in a lady's 
album, found the following : 


"Mont Blanc is the monarch of moontaina — 
They crowned him long ago ; 
Bat who they got to put it on 
Nobodv seems to know.** 

Whereupon Thackeray added the following: 

A Humble Suggestion. 

I know that Albert wrote in a hurry ; 

To criticise I scarce presume ; 
But yet methinks that Lindley Murray, 

Instead of urJko^ had written fckom. 

W. M. Thacke&ay. 

Wash ye, make ye [you] clean. — Brown** QmoMrdanoe, 

Hodgson's Errors m En(^i^, from which we take some 
of the foregoing, criticises the following: 

God will send no such foob as I upon his errands. — Kingsky. 

This sentence is correct as it stands, meaning "God 
will send no such fools as I (am) upon his errands." 
Tlie conjunction really connects sentences here instead 
of the words " fools " and " L" 

The following are examples showing the misuse of 
the prepositional objective: 

All debts are cleared between you and / [me]. — Shate^itecare, 

So you must ride on horseback after we [us]. — Qnpper, 
This life has joys for you and / [me], 
And joys that riches ne'er can buy. — Bum%, 

He hath given away above half his fortune to the Lord knows 
who [whom]. — Fielding. 

I have plenty of victuals, and between you and / [me], some- 
thing in a corner. — Day's ** Sanford and MertonV 

There are still a few who, like them and / [me], drink noth- 
ing but water. — Gil Bias, 

We are still much at a loss who [whom] civil power belongs 
to, — Locke^ 


I cannot tell who [whom] to compare them to. — Bunyan, 

That they should always bear certain marks who [whom] they 
came from. — Butler's Analogy, 

It is in this particular that the great difference lies between 
the laborer who moves to Yorkshire and he [him] who moves 
to Canada. — Westminnter Review, 

Now he had lost her, he wanted her back ; and perhaps every 
one present, except he [him], guessed why. — Kingsley, in " West- 
ward Ho,'* 

But if you can't help it, who [whom] do you complain of? — 

I see there is some resemblance between this good man and / 
[me] . — Bunyan, 

The Case by Apposition. 

When a noun or a pronoun is joined to another for 
the sake of explanation or emphasis it is in the same 
case as the noun which it explains or emphasizes. 

This is usually called the same case by apposition. 

As has been explained before, when several nouns 
come together to express but one name, as General 
Ulysses Simpson Grant, they constitute a complex 
noun, and are not in apposition. 

Sometimes the common noun is put in apposition 
with the proper ; as, " Milton the poet ;" and sometimes 
the proper noun is put in apposition with the common ; 
as, " The poet Milton." 

Sometin'ies a noun is put in apposition with a sen- 
tence ; as, " Always attend to business, a good rule, was 
his guiding motto ;" and sometimes a sentence is put in 
apposition with a word ; as, " His motto. Always pay as 
you go, is a good rule." 

A plural term is sometimes for the sake of emphasis 
put in apposition with several nouns or pronouns pre- 
ceding; as, "Children, relatives, friends, — aU have de- 
serted me." 



Distributive pronouns arc sometimes put in apposi- 
tion with a ])lural noun or pronoun; as, "They called 
each other ;" that is, " They each called the other," each 
being in apposition with ihqf. 

As is sometimes followed by a noun denoting office 
or rank, which is in apposition with a preceding noun 
or pronoun. Thus, "i/w work as a teacher is satisfac- 
tory," in which teacher is in the possessive case, being in 
apposition with his. 

Nouns in apposition need to agree in case, but not 
necessarily in person, number, or gender. 

When a noun is in apposition with a pronoun in the 
possessive, the possessive sign of the noun is omitted. 
See the foregoing sentence, "His work as a teacher is 

Violations of the Bule for the Same Case by Apposition. 

Mrs. Brownlow had presatned to scold her, to blame her, for 
what she was doiog, she [herj whom nobody ever blamed. — 
Mrs. Oliphant. 

God forbid that John Hawkins's wife should refase her last 
penny to a distinguished mariner, and he [him] a gentleman 
born. — Kingsley, 

Amidst the tumult of the routed train 
The sons of false Antimachus were slain ; 
He [him], who for bribes his faithless counsel sold, 
And voted Helen's stay for Paris' gold. — Pope. 
I saw him before me, he [him] who had since our first meet- 
ing continually contrived to pass some inappreciable slight on 
me. — Lever, 

It is characteristic of them to appear to one person, and he 
[him] the most interested, the most likely to be deluded. — 
W. J. Fox : Works, 

I don't forget the danger and the woe of one weak woman, 
and she [her] the daughter of a man who stood in this room. 
— Kingsky, 


To send me away, and for a whole year, too, — / [me] who 
had never crept from under the parental wing — was a startling 
idea. — C, J, Mathews. 

The word came not to Esau, the hunter that stayed not at 
home, but to Jacob, the plain man, he [him] that dwelt in tents* 
— Penn. 

Christ and him [he] crucified was the Alpha and Omega of 
his address. — Sermon, 

Same Case after a Verb. 

Intransitive verbs and verbs in the passive voice liave 
the same case after them as before them when both 
words mean the same thing. 

The verbs usually placed between two nouns or pro- 
nouns meaning the same thing are he^ become^ seem, ap- 
pear, and intransitive verbs of motion, place, or position; 
also the passive form of such transitive verbs as call, 
choose, name, elect, appoint, consider, esteem, constitute, and a 
few others. 

A noun or a pronoun either preceding or following 
one of these verbs may be in the same case as a phrase 
or a clause separated from it by the verb. Thus, " It is 
a disgrace that we should be compelkd to remain,^^ or " That 
we should be compelled to remain is a disgrace." In the 
first of these sentences, the meaning may be expressed 
by transferring the explanatory clause and putting it 
directly in apposition with the subject; as, " It, that we 
should be compelled to remain, is a disgrace." 

The noun or the pronoun following an intransitive 
infinitive, and meaning the same thing as the noun or 
the pronoun preceding the verb, is usually in the ob- 
jective case, since the word preceding the verb, and 
known as the subject of the infinitive, is in the objec- 
tive case. Thus, i^ I took him to be the judge.^^ 

Some writers have agreed that the sentence "It is 


me " is correct, beciiuse it is common. Tills is not true. 
It is a direct violation of the rule, nor is the expression 
common among correct writers. If ** It is me " were 
correct, then also would **It is him," '*It is her," "It is 
them " be correct ; but they all violate the well-estab- 
lished principle that intransitive verbs have the same 
case after them as before them when both words mean 
the same. 

The noun or the pronoun after a passive or an intran- 
sitive participle limited by a possessive is in the nomi- 
native case independent; as, "No one thought of its 
being /." 

In such expressions as "He was taught grammar" 
there is an ellipsis of a preposition, as will appear 
when we substitute the word "instruct" for the word 
"taught." Thus, "He was instructed in grammar." 

The subject and the predicate noun or pronoun need 
agree in nothing except case. Thus, we may say " It is 
I," " It is he," " It is she," " It is you," " It is they." 

Those who would admit the correctness of "It is me," 
as Dean Alford does in "The Queen's English," and 
quote Shakespeare as authority, in King Lear, where 
the fool's expression is " And yet I would not be tliee, 
uncle," will on further examination of the same play 
find Shakespeare saying " Be as well-neighbored, pitied, 
and relieved as thou ;" " Tis they have put him on the 
old man's death;" ''It is both he and she;'' "TisAe;" 
" 'Twas he;'' " Alack, 'tis he;" " 0, this is he." Shall the 
rule or the exception govern ? 

In practice, it matters not which of the nouns precedes 
or which follows if both are in the same case. Some- 
times both follow or both precede the verb. Thus, "Am 
J a Jew ?" " Art thou Elias ?" " I was eyes to the blind, 
and feet \vas I to the lame." " I know not who she is." 


Violations of the Bule for the Same Case after the Verb. 

He had taken Oliver to be ^ [him], — Dickens, 

If there is any one embarrassed it will not be me [I], and it 
will not be she. — W, Black. 

It cannot be me [IJ. — Swifi. 

These are her garb, not her [she]. — Hannah More. 

Although I know it to be he [him]. — Dickens. 

It is not me [I] you are in love with. — Adam Smith. 

Art thou proud yet? Ay, that I am, not thee [thou]. — Shake- 

Time was when none could cry, " It was wie" [I]. — Dryden, 

Notes on Nouns. 

Some discussion has arisen as to whether we shall say 
" the United States is " or " the United Stiites are." Bry- 
ant in his famous Index Expurgatmius, which determined 
the question of usage for " The New York Evening Post," 
of which he was editor, used the term in the plural. The 
Secretaries of State before the late Civil War used the 
expression in the same way. Many authorities have ad- 
vocated the opposite view, and usage is still unsettled. 
A reasonable view seems to be that where the General 
Government is meant, or where the term expresses the 
name of the nation, we should* consider the term sin- 
gular, and say " The United States is," as we would say 
" Central America is," or as we would say of any other 
country made up of individual states. If we were to 
refer to the states as individuals, we should say " the 
United States are," but a doubt miojht arise as to the 
propriety of beginning either ** united " or " states " with 
a capital letter. 

Foreign Nouns. — Frequently the plurals of foreign 
nouns are incorrectlv formed. The word naminp: the 
graduate of an institution of learning is a good exam- 


pie. The following are the proper forms: The term 
applied to a male graduate is alumniia (sing.), alumni 
(plur.) ; to a female graduate, alumna (sing.), alumnse 
(pUir.) ; and where an association consists of both sexes, 
the proper term is ^^ alumni association." 

It is best in general to use the Anglicised plural of 
foreign terms where they have become words in com- 
mon use. Thus, animalcules is preferable to animalcule 
except in scientific treatises, solos to soli, ignoram,uses to 
ignorami, funguses to ficngiy stamens to stamina, gymnor 
siums to gymnasia, focuses to foci, heaus to beaux, and enco^ 
miums to encomia, 

. The general tendency in writing the names of profes- 
sions and other callings is to abandon the use of the 
feminine termination where women occupy the same 
plane and enjoy the same privileges as men; hence we 
have for women as well as men, doctor, teacher, poet, ediUn-, 
instructor, merchant, and the like; but when the calling is 
essentially one belonging to the sex, a termination which 
indicates the sex is given to the word ; as, actress, count- 
ess, duchess, and the like. In the case of actress the 
reason for using the forms actor and actress is probably 
because the parts played by the two sexes are different. 

Asa rule, in forming new nouns it is best to take the 
affix from the same language as the root- word. This is 
sometimes known as "The law of verbal formation." 
Thus, in the word telegraph, we have tde (Gr.), "afar 
off," and graphein (Gr.), '^ to write," and the word tele- 
graph, as also the word telegram, is a legitimate word; 
but the word cablegram is a hybrid derived from the 
French and the Greek. 

The suffix ist, from the Greek, is frequently affixed 
incorrectly to an Anglo-Saxon root, producing as a re- 
sult such monstrous hybrids as walkist, talkist, fightist. 


and timist. Many of these have dropped out, and we 
have walker, talker, and the like, but ^Himist" is still 
used by some to denote one who keeps correct time in 
his musical performances. The proper word is time- 
keeper, from timnian (A. S.) and ceopan (A. S.). 

Many abbreviations of nouns have crept into modern 
usage, some good, some bad. Thus we have, among the 
forms which have secured recognition, van for " van- 
guard," cab for ** cabriolet," consols for '* consolidated an- 
nuities," mob for " mobile vtdgus,^^ proxy for " procuracy," 
chum for "chamber-fellow," hack for "hackney-coach.'' 
But there is no known excuse for the use of " co-ed " 
for female student at a co-educational school, " exam " 
for examination, "gym" for gymnasium, "pants" for 
pantaloons, " pard " for partner, " prex " for president, 
"gents" for gentlemen, "prof" for professor, "spec" for 
speculation, " prelim " for preliminary examination, or 
"bike" for bicycle. 

Many of these abbreviations are the product of the 
playground, where they are thought to savor of smart- 
ness, but none of them should be used unless recognized 
by reliable authority as having established themselves. 


Adjectives are used to limit or qualify the meaning 
of nouns and pronouns. 

Two adjectives taken together as one term, without 
the use of a hyphen, may be called a complex adjective; 
as, "A pale blue sky ;" "On^ hundred and twenty dollars," 

Numerals below one hundred, when taken together, 
are united by a hyphen ; as, thirty-two, sixty-three, ninety- 

An adjective may modify a noun modified by another 

72 GC'^'D EsausH. 

adjti'Ciivt ; thus, ~ A li:;le giri f " A beautiful little girl." 
In the s<'Corid exanuie, " Wiuiiful " modifies the expres- 
sion " ii::le ir.r!.'" 

Wht-n an adj^-ccive pnect^es an expression in which 
a jK^^5S€ss:ve limits ano;hcr nuun,the adjective limits the 
noun in the posse^ive nuher than the noun limited by 
the jK>ssos5?ive. Thus, in the expression, *'The old man's 
cvul w;is torn/' tue and M moilifv man^. 


An adjtviive usuidly pret\-des the noun but follows the 
pronoun which it modiiies; thus, "He is a wise man;" 
*• He is wise." There are, however, many exceptions to 
this principle, as in the expression '•The boy is active." 

When an adjective is use^l abstractly after a participle 
or a verb in the infinitive mode, as '*To be prudent is 
sometimes difficult/* it does not relate to any noun or 

Some adjectives merely limit; as, this, thaty six; while 
others qualify. 

Among the limiting adjectives are the articles, a, an 
and they numeral adjectives, and pronominal adjectives. 

Of the articles, a and an always limit nouns in the 
singular ; a l)eing used before consonant sounds and an 
before vowel sounds. An attempt to pronounce a com- 
bination where a precedes a vowel sound, as " a apple," 
"a orange," will readily show why it is more eupho- 
nious to use 071 before vowel sounds. Similarly, an at- 
tempt to pronounce an before a consonant sound, as " an 
cart," "an book," will show why it is more euphonious 
to use a before the sound of a consonant 

The may be used before either singular or plural 


Of the numeral adjectives, those relating to number, 
there are three kinds : the Cardinal, which denote how 
many, as one, two, three, etc. ; tlie Orduuih, which denote 


what order, as jirst^ second^ thirds etc. ; and the Multipli- 
cative, which denote how many fold, as doubU or twofold^ 
triple or threefold, etc. 

Pronominal adjectives are those which may, without 
the use of the article, represent a noun when understood. 
The pronominal adjectives are either Distributive, as each, 
every, either, neither, — Demonstrative, as this, that, these, those, 
yonder, former, latter, — or Indefinite, as some, one, any,^ such, 
none, other ^ another. 

In the case of pronominal adjectives, when they limit 
a noun expressed they may he called simply adjectives. 
When the noun is understood, as in " This is mine," the 
pronominal adjective may be called a pronoun. 

Words derived from proper names, as American, Po- 
lish, Roman, etc., are known as Proper Adjectives, Proper 
adjectives should begin with capital letters except as 
noted heretofore in the treatment of Capital Letters. 

In the comparison of adjectives, when two objects are 
compared, strict usage requires the employing of the 
comparative degree to express a greater or a less degree 
of quality ; as, vnser, gentler, more beautiful, less savage. 

In the comparison of three or more objects the super- 
lative degree is required to express the highest or the 
lowest degree of quality; as, wisest, most beautiful, least 

Monosyllables, and dissyllables ending in le or y, are 
compared by the use of er and est; as, simple, simpler, 
simplest; spicy, spicier, spiciest. 

Other adjectives are usually compared by the use of 
more and most or less and least; as, beautiful, more beau- 
tiful, most beautiful; dangerous, less dangerous, least dan- 

Many adjectives are compared irregularly; as, good, 
better, best; evil, worse, worst. 


Some adjectives, as superior^ inferior, preferable, previous^ 
do not admit of comparison. This is true also of adjec- 
tives denoting qualities which cannot exist in different 
(lojrrees ; as, round, square, perpendicular, etc., though some 
writers use the comparative and the superlative forms of 
these words on the theory that the words are not used in 
a strict sense. Thus, 

"The most perfect society." — Everett 

" Sight is the most perfect of our senses." — Addison, 

" The extremest verge." — Shakespeare. 

Syntax op Adjectivbs. 

When a limiting and a qualifying adjective modify 
the same noun, the limiting adjective is placed first ; as, 
" This excellent advice ;" " The three brightest boys." 

When two numeral adjectives are thrown together, the 
ordinal should generally precede the cardinal ; thus, " The 
first three ;" " The last six." 

Some grammarians object to this form because the 
" first three " implies a " second three," and in groups 
of less than six there can be no second three. This is 
not necessarily true. While there may not be a " first 
three" and a "second three" in five, there ma}' be a 
*' first three " and a " last three," just as in competition 
we speak always of "the best three out of h.wQ,^'^ and 
not the " three best " out of five. 

When an ordinal adjective limits a noun it should 
precede the noun ; as, the fifth page, the tliirteenth lesson, 
the second month, the eighth day. 

When a cardinal adjective limits a noun it should fol- 
low the noun ; as, page five, lesson thirteen, post sixteen, part 
one, not " part first." 

Adjectives as well as nouns may have the factitive 
construction, as in the following : " They made the land 


rich ;" that is, " They enriched the land ;" " They washed 
their hands clean;" that is, "They cleansed their hands." 
It will be noticed that the predicate verb and the facti- 
tive adjective are together equivalent to a single verb. 

When the passive form of the verb is used, as, "The 
land was made rich," the adjective becomes a predicate 

The comparative degree presents the objects compared 
as in different classes or divisions, and is followed by 
than; as, "Boys are more rugged than girls." 

The superlative degree presents the objects compared 
as being in the same class or division, and is followed 
by of. Thus, "Samson was the strongest of men." We 
may say "Solomon was the wisest of Hebrew kings," 
but not " Solomon was wiser than any of the Hebrew 
kings," for he himself was one of the Hebrew kings. 
We may say "Eve was the fairest of women," but 
not "the fairest of her daughters Eve," as given by 

When only two objects of the same division are com- 
pared the comparative may be used like the superlative, 
and is followed by of; as, " Henry is the older of the two 

Some writers have used the superlative in the com- 
parison of two. Notice the following : 

"The most agreeable of the two." — Cowper, 

" The most fatigued of the two." — Hood, 

" The strongest of the two." — Hawthorne, 

'* Which of the two was the most active?" — Q, P. Marsh, 

"The least of the two,'*—Southey. 

"The eldest of the two sons." — Thackeray, 

" Wherever God erects a house of prayer, 
The devil always builds a chapel there ; 
And 'twill be found, upon examination, 
The latter has the largest congregation." — Defoe, 


Double comparatives and double superlatives should 
not be used. When Shakespeare wrote the expression, 
** the most unkindest cut of all," he probably was aware 
that he was sacrificing the grammar of the sentence to 
make the meter correct. 

Each, Every, Either, and Neither are in the singu- 
lar, and require verbs, nouns, and pronouns connected 
with them to be in the singular. 

Even wlien two or more singular subjects are con- 
nected by and^ if they are preceded by each^ every ^ or no, 
they are considered separately, and require a verb in the 
singular; as, "Each tree and each shrub has its assigned 
place;" "Every boy and every girl was ready for the 
work;" "No chair and no cushion was out of place." 

When an adjective is necessarily plural the noun 
which it limits must take the plural form ; as, six Jeet^ 
ten mile8^ seventy dollars; but when the adjective and 
the noun together form a new adjective the noun-part 
of the adjective retains the singular form ; as, " a ten- 
foot pole," "a two- foot rule," "a three-cent piece," "a 
five-dollar bill." 

W^hen quality is to be expressed, the adjective and 
not the adverb should follow the verb. Thus, " I feel 
sick;'' " I feel had;'' " Eggs boil hxird;" " The three stood 
tall and silent'' — Macaiday; " Many a nobleman lies stark 
and stiff," — Shakespeare; " Time hangs heavy in the haJl," 

A correct plan for determining whether the adjective 
or the adverb should be used in such sentences as the 
foregoing is this : If any part of the verb be or become 
can be substituted for the verb in the sentence, the verb 
should be followed by the adjective. Thus, " I feel (am) 
wicked ;" " I feel (am) bad ;" " She looks (is) beautiful;" 
" The eggs boil (become) hard ;" " The apples taste (are) 


sweet;" "The marble looks (is) cold;" "He felt (was) 
better;" "The child lay (was) motionless." 

When several adjectives limiting the same noun' fol- 
low one another and are separated by a conjunction, the 
simplest is placed first. Thus, we say, " The boy whom 
we met is older and more intelligent than his brothers." 
If written in this form, " The boy whom we met is more 
intelligent and older than his brothers," the word more, 
in effect, modifies not only intelligent^ but also older; 
thus, "more intelligent and more older." 

Care must be taken, when two adjectives limiting the 
same noun are joined without the use of a conjunction, 
that that adjective be placed nearest the noun which 
with the noun may be modified by the other. Thus, 
"A rugged little church" rather than "A little rugged 
church;" "A pretty little girl" rather than "A little 
pretty girl." 

In referring to distance farther should be used, not fur- 
ther. Thus, " The sun is farther from us than is the moon." 

Farther is used in the sense of additional. Thus, 
"Have you any further remarks to make?" 

The best authorities seem to agree that each otfier 
should be used when reference is made to two onl}'', 
and that one another is the proper term to use when 
reference is made to more than two. Thus, "The boys 
like each other;" that is, each boy likes the other. The 
number is limited definitely to two. We may say also, 
"The soldiers followed one another;" that is, one fol- 
lowed another, the number being indefinite. 

This and its plural these refer to what is near or last 
thought of. That and its plural those refer to what is 
distant or last thought of. Thus, 

Farewell my friends I farewell my foes I 

My peace with these [foes], my love with those [friends]. 


This and that modify words in the singular; these 
and those, words in ihe plural. It is incorrect to say 
these kind or those sort, . 

The words a and the, though generally used as arti- 
cles, may be used as other parts of speech. Thus, when 
a is used as a substitute for at^ on, in, or other preposi- 
tions, as "He has gone a-fishing," it becomes a prep- 
osition. So also in sentences where the is used to modify 
an adjective or an adverb, it is properly an adverb, as in 
" The more I sing the better I like it;" " The deeper the well, 
the cooler the water." 

When the article a is used before the words dozen, few, 
hundred, etc., the combination of article and adjective, as 
a few, may be parsed as a complex adjective. Some gram- 
marians prefer to think that a preposition is understood ; 
as, " A dozen (of) eggs." When millions and larger num- 
bers are used the preposition is expressed ; as, " Two mil- 
lions of dollars." 

Syntax op Articles. 

When a common noun is used in its most extended 
sense, no article is placed before it ; as, " Iron is hard ;" 
" Glass is brittle." 

No article is placed before a noun denoting a mere 
title or name used as a name. Thus, " The chief officer 
in some towns is called mayor; in others, burgess;" 
"His title is captain." 

The article should be placed before an adjective used 
as a noun ; as, " None but the brave deserves the fair." 

The article should be used before a common noun 
when the latter is used to denote a particular class ; as, 
"The rose is a beautiful flower." 

When several particulars are included in a class, the 
article must precede each of the particulars if it is 


placed before any. Thu^, " Nouns have three cases, — 
Nominative, Possessive and Objective," or " Nouns have 
three cases, — the Nominative, the Possessive, and the 

The article a is used before the words few and little 
to denote some. Thus, "A few remained to greet the 
stranger;" "We have a little money." 

The article a is omitted before these adjectives to 
denote none, not many, or not much. Thus, " Few were 
present to listen to the address ;" " But little change has 
been noticed." 

The article is used before each of two names when 
they are compared if they refer to separate persons 
or things; as, "The house is more costly than the 

The article is omitted before the second of two names 
compa,red if they refer to the same person or thing; 
as, "Longfellow was a more celebrated writer than 

When several nouns have different constructions, or 
when it is desired to express direct contrast, or to give 
emphasis or prominence to each noun, the article should 
be placed before each. Thus, " The teacher and the pu- 
pils were frightened ;" " The street but not the number 
was given ;" " Twenty thousand dollars was paid for a 
store and a farm." 

When several adjectives in succession limit the same 
noun, an article is placed before the first only ; as, " A 
red, white, and black cow," meaning one cow. 

When several adjectives in succession limit a noun 
denoting several objects of the same name, the article 
is placed before each adjective ; as, " A red and a white 
cow," meaning two cows of different colors. 

Applying this principle to the following sentences, 


a. Sing the first and second stanza, 

b. Sing the first and the second stanza, 

c. Sing the first and second stanzas, 

d. Sing the first and the second stanzas, 

it is evident that only the second sentence (6) is correct. 

With reference to the first sentence, the single article 
indicates a single stanza, but a stanza cannot be first and 
second at the same time. The same is true of the third 
sentence; the stanzas must be first and second at the 
same time. 

The fourth sentence means that the first stanzas shall 
be sung and the second stanzas shall be sung, whereas 
there is but one of each. The fourth sentence could be 
correct only on the supposition that the first stanza of 
each of several hymns was to be sung. 

The second sentence is correct in either of the follow- 
ing forms: 

Sing the first and the second stanza. 
Sing the first stanza and the second. 

A prominent writer on Grammar says we may say, 
" the north pole and the south pole, or the north and 
the south poles." The latter form is incorrect In the 
expression " a red and a white cow," the word "cow " is 
understood after the adjective "red." So also in the 
expression " the north and the south poles," the word 
poles is understood after the word north, as indicated 
by the presence of the article, and therefore the expres- 
sion means " the north poles and the south poles," an 
indefinite number of each. 

There is objection also to the statement of a late writer 
who argues that we may say, " the first and second edi- 
tions of a book," which means editions that are at the 
same time both first and second. 


In the expressions, 

The old and new book, 
The old and the new book, 
The old and new books. 
The old and the new books, 

the first and the third are incorrect, and the others cor- 

The proper expression for the books of Scripture is, 
" The Old and the New Testament." 

The guiding principle in determining the use of the 
article in such sentences as the foregoing is, that where 
several adjectives in succession modify a noun which 
refers to as many distinct objects as there are adjectives, 
the article must be placed before each adjective, if the 
noun is omitted after each except the last; thus, "The 
first, the second, and the third stanza," means three 
stanzas. Notice also that the singular form of the 
noun, stanza, is the correct one, because it is un- 
derstood after each of the adjectives where it is 

When the adjectives limiting a noun denote but one 
object, the article occurs but once, and that before 
the first adjective; as, "A white and black [spotted] 

In general, as many objects or groups of objects are 
suggested in expressions like the foregoing as there are 
articles. Thus, " A red, a white, and a blue flag " (three 
articles, three flags). "A red, white, and blue flag " (one 
article, one flag). Thus, also, "The first and second 
stanza " (one article, one stanza). But a stanza cannot 
be first and second at the same time, therefore the ex- 
pression is incorrect. The proper form is " The first and 
the second stanza " (two articles, two stanzas). 



S>nrie;iiii€< fc»r ir-e sake of eE:;pL:isis or through poetic 
licti*;?e, a wriitr def<ins ir\:»iii the rule ; as, 

" A siitider and x wister man 
Ue rose tbe oiorTOv mora.'* — Oukrid^ 

Where oilier limning words are used with the adjec- 
tive, liie same principle applies. Thus, ** His first and 
last will " meaiiiS oce wiiL " His first and liis last will " 
(not wills) means two wiils- 

As to the words naming streets, usage is not uniform. 
Shall we sav " Eleventh and Chestnut Streets," " Elev- 
enth Street and Chestnut Street,'' or "Eleventh Street 
and Chestnut?" 

This does not really come under the principle stated. 
Strcd is not the noun modified bv the words eleventh, 
etc. The real names of the streets are Elleventh Street 
and Chestnut Street, just as the name is not Delaware 
but Delaware Rny. Two words. Chestnut and Street, are 
necessary to form the complete proper name. Custom 
seems to sanction Eleventh and Chestnut Streets, but the 
form Eleventh Street and Chestnut also is used, and the 
form " Chestnut Street below Tenth '' seems to have no 
exceptions. Where a street crosses an avenue both the 
words street and avenue are used ; thus, " Broad Street 
and Columbia Avenue."' 

The definite article is usually placed before such com- 
plimentary titles as rererend and honorable; as, "The 
Reverend Phillips Brix)ks;'' "The Honorable W'illiam 
E. Gladstone." We mav sav also " The Reverend Mr. 
Brooks," and "The Honorable Mr. Gladstone." 

Butlers Grammar claims that of should not be in- 
serted l>etween both or all and a noun following, but 
that it may be inserted between both or all and a pro- 
noun foUowing. Thus, we sa\', "Both the boys" and 


" All the men," or " Both of them," " All of them." The 
use of the noun without the preposition is preferable. 

The adjective 8(mie may be written before numerals to 
render the number less definite ; as, " Some twenty years 
ago, Tom." 

Usage seems to difier with regard to the use of a or an 
before words beginning with h. All agree, how^ever, that 
before words beginning with h and accented on the first 
syllable, a is the proper article to use ; as, " A history ;" 
" A horseman." When the accent is on the second syl- 
lable, in such words as historical, either a or an may be 
used, according to the taste of the writer. Some gram- 
marians declare that the article in such cases must be 
an; as, "An historical account," "An hotel," and yet 
few people would speak of " an hotel." Usage is decid- 
edly in favor of the form " a hotel," and divided as to " a 
historical " or " an historical." 

Pronominal Adjectives. — Every is sometimes used to 
limit a numeral adjective and a noun taken together; 
as, "Every ten days;" "Every five dollars." 

None may be used in either the singular or the plu- 
ral ; as, " We waited for a car, but none came ;" " The 
train was wrecked and none of the passengers escaped." 

Every means all considered separately, and requires 
a verb or a pronoun in the singular ; as, " Every good 
boy is ready to do his duty." 

Each means all considered separately, and requires a 
verb or a pronoun in the singular; as, "Each girl is 
ready to do her share of the work." 

Any denotes an indefinite object as opposed to a par- 
ticular one or more ; as, " Can any one do this ?" " Have 
3^ou any money ?" 

Either means one or the other of two, but not both. 
It implies a choice; as, "Take either of the books." 


Neither means not the one nor the other. 

Many when followed by a may be considered a com- 
plex adjective. It means much the same as every, but 
does not denote alL 

All and whole mean much the same, but they are 
not interchangeable. We may say " All the world " or 
" The whole world,'' and we may say " All the apples,'* 
but not ** The whole apples," in the same sense. 

Fewer and less are sometimes misapplied. Fewer 
refers to number, and less to size. The school officer 
who said to the teacher, " There are less girls than boys 
in your school," probably told the truth, but it did not 
express the thought he meant to convey, that there were 
fewer girls than boys in the school. 

Violations of the Correct TTsage of Adjectives, 

Isabella was the cause of more misery in both countries than 
any (other) woman who ever lived. — History of France, 

Neither of them are [is] remarkable for precision. — Blair, 

Neither of which are [is] taken into account. — Dean Alford, 

Mazzini may be said to have done more for the unity of Italy 
than any (other) living man. — Spectator, 

The word party for a man occurs in Shakespeare. — Dean Al- 
ford. (Drop a.) 

The two sisters were extremely different, though each had 
their [her] admirers. — Scott, 

Never did a set of rascals travel further [farther] to find a 
gallows. — W. Irving, 

A proper fraction is less than one, because it expresses less 
[fewer] parts than it takes to make a unit. — D, P. Oolburn, 

We may consider the whole space of an [a] hundred years as 
present. — Beattie, 

Which created a great dispute between the young and (the) 
old men. — GotdsmUh, 

It was read by the high and the low, by the rich and (the) 
illiterate.— ZV. Johnson, 



So diflScult is it to separate these two things from one another 
[each other]. — Blair' 8 Rhetoric, 

They stand now on one foot, then on another [the other]. — 
Walker's Particles, 

The head of it would be an [a] universal monarch. — Butler's 

Scripture, w., appropriately and by way of distinction, th« books 
of the Old and (the) New Testament, the Bible. — Dictionary, 

In two separate volumes, entitled the Old and (the) New Tes- 
tament. — Wayland. 

The creed of Zoroaster .... supposes the co-existence of a 
benevolent and (a) malevolent principle, which contend together 
without either [cither's] being able decisively to prevail over his 
antagonist. — Sir Walter Scott, 

Here they confound the material and (the) formal object of 
faith. — Maturings Sermons, 

Mr. Stanley was the only one of his predecessors who slaugh- 
tered the natives of the region he passed through. — London Ex- 
aminer, (Omit "of his predecessors.") 

A close prisoner in a room twenty foot [feet] square. — Locke, 

A Philosophical Inquiry into the Origin of our Ideas of the 
Sublime and (the) Beautiful. — Burke, 

There are no less [fewer] than five words with any of which 
the sentence might have terminated. — GampbeWs Rhetoric, 

The letters published after C. Lamb's death and that of his 
sister, by Mr. Talfourd, make up a volume of more interest than 
any (other) books of human composition. — Leslie, 

To the antiquary and (the) artist those .columns are a source 
of inexhaustible observations and designs. — Byron, 

Her two brothers were one after another [the other] turned 
into stone. — Art of Thinking, 

Memory and forecaste just returns engage, 

This [that] pointing back to youth, that [this] on to age. — Pope, 

For beast and bird ; 
These [those] to their grassy* couch, those [these] to their 

nests repair. — Milton, 
The landlord was thought to see further [farther] and deeper 
into things than any (other) man in the parish. — Fielding, 

86 good english. 


A pronoun may represent a noun or any phrase or 
clause used as a noun. 

A pronoun agrees with its antecedent in person, 
number and gender; but the case is determined by 
the rehition of the pronoun to other words in the sen- 

The pronoun thou is now rarely used except in the 
solemn style. You is used instead in both the singular 
and the plural, but the verb which agrees with it is 
always of the plural form. 

Some difficulty is experienced in expression because 
the language has no singular pronoun in the third per- 
son to represent males and females. When both sexes- 
are represented, the masculine form, he, is used by com- 
mon consent; as, "i/e that hath ears to hear, let him 

Some of the personal pronouns have two forms for the 
possessive, one of which, my, our, thy, your, her, their, is 
used wlien the noun is expressed ; as, my book, her pen- 
cil ; and the other, mine, ours, thine, yours, hers, theirs, when 
the noun is understood or implied ; as, The book is mine; 
The pencil is hers. 

In parsing this latter form the simplest plan is to 
call the word a personal pronoun, having the possessive 
form, and then determine the case by the use of the 
word in the sentence. Thus, in the sentence, "The 
book is mine," mine is a personal pronoun, having the 
possessive form. It is in the first person, singular num- 
ber, and in tlie nominative case after is. The word mine 
here means my hook. 

Care must be taken never to write the possessive form 
of pronouns with an apostrophe. 


Syntax of Personal Pronouns. 

When the antecedent of a personal pronoun is a col- 
lective noun conveying the idea of unity, the pronoun 
agrees with it in the third person, singular number, 
neuter gender. Thus, " The army marched onward in 
its course." 

When the antecedent is a collective noun conveying 
the idea of plurality, the pronoun agrees with it in the 
plural number, the gender corresponding to that of the 
individuals in the collection; as, "The jury did not 
agree in their opinions." 

When a pronoun is used to represent two or more 
nouns connected by and^ but meaning different things, 
the plural form must be used ; as, " Both the boy and 
the girl spoke to their father." 

When a pronoun is used to represent two or more 
nouns in the singular, connected by and^ and meaning 
the same thing, the singular form of the pronoun must 
be used ; as, " Our teacher and protector has her home 
in the village." 

When two or more nouns in the singular, connected 
by and, are preceded by each, every, or no, the pronoun 
which represents them is in the singular number; as, 
"Every bush and every tree is putting forth its leaves." 

When two or more nouns in the singular, connected 
by or or nor, are represented by a pronoun, it agrees 
with them separately in the singular number. Thus, 
"Neither Henry nor William has found his book." 

When two or more nouns of different numbers are 
connected by or or nor, the pronoun should be made 
plural, and the plural noun should be placed nearest to 
it. Thus, " Neither the teacher nor the pupils felt that 
they had cause to regret their action." 


AVhen two or more nouns are connected by as well ew, 
and ali(0, but nitty or similar connectives, they belong to 
(HUVrent propositions, and the pronoun represents the 
first noun onlv. Thus, *'Tlie bov as well as his father 
believed that he would succeed." 

When two or more antecedents, connected by and, are 
of different persons, th^ pronoun which represents them 
is of the first person if either of the antecedents is of 
the first person. Thus, '' William and I are anxious to 
please our friends." 

If none of the antecedents is of the first person, the 
pronoun is of the second person ; as, " You and your 
brother must be kind to your sisters." 

When using the pronoun of the second person, sin- 
gular, tlie same form must be preserved throughout. 
Thus, "Thou and thy sons shall bear the burden of 
thy sins." 

When several personal pronouns in tlie singularnum- 
ber are used together, the second person is placed before 
the others, and the third is placed before the first. Thus, 
'* You and I," " He and I," '' You and he." 

When several personal pronouns in the plural number 
are used together, we is usually placed first, you second, 
and they third ; thus, " We and you," " We and they," 
"You and they." 

When the use of a pronoun causes ambiguity, the 
noun should be repeated. Thus, the sentence, "The 
farmer told his neighbor that his cows were in his 
corn," may mean four things, — 

a. The farmer's cows were in the farmer's corn. 

b. The farmer's cows were in his neighbor's corn. 

c. The neighbor's cows were in the farmer's corn. 

d. The neighbor's cows were in the neighbor's corn. 

We, though plural, is sometimes used by editors and 


others to denote but one. Our is used in the same way. 
Thus, " We give this as our opinion." 

You is often used to denote but one; but the verb 
agreeing with it must have the plural form. 

When neuter nouns are personified they are repre- 
sented by pronouns in the masculine or the feminine 
gender. Thus, " Grim Darkness furls his leaden shroud." 

Such collectives as dozen, many, few, score, preceded by 
a, are represented by pronouns in the plural; as, "A 
few of them were present." 

Antecedents in the singular number but of different 
persons cannot be represented by a single pronoun. A 
separate pronoun must be used to represent each ante- 
cedent. Thus, "The boy found his pencil, but his sister 
did not find hers." 

Violations in the Usage of Pronouns. 

Every one in the family should know their [his] duty. — Penn, 
His form had not yet lost all her [its] original brightness. — 

I shall not learn my duty from such as ihee [thou]. — Fielding, 
But he must be stronger than thee [thou]. — Southey, 
No one will answer as if I were their [his] friend or compan- 
ion. — Steele, in Spectator, 

She was no better bred nor wiser than you or 7ne [I]. — Thack- 

If the part deserve any comment, every considering Chris- 
tian will make it themselves [himself] as they go [he goes]. — 

Now these systems, so far from having any tendency to make 
men better, have manifest tendency to make him [them] worse. 
— Wayland, 

Every nation have their [has its] refinement. — Sterne, 
Neither gave vent to their [hia] feelings in words. — Scott, 
Everybody will become of use in their [his] own fittest way. 
— Buskin, 


The tongue is like a race-horse, which runs the fkster the less 
weight it [he] carries. — Addison. 

Nobody knows what it is to lose a friend till they have [he 
has] lost one. — Melding, 

I do not mean that I think any one to blame for taking care 
of their [his] health. — Addison, 

"Rose Satterly, the mayor's daughter?"— "That's her'' [she]. 
— Fielding, 

Relativb and Intbreogativb Pronouns. 

A Relative Pronoun is one which relates to a preced- 
ing word, phrase, or clause, called its antecedent, and 
unites with it a subordinate clause. 

The relative pronouns are who, which, what, and that 
Some grammarians consider as a relative pronoun when 
it follows such, same, or many ; as, "We give you such as 
we have." Others claim that there is an ellipsis in such 
expressions, the relative pronoun being understood, the 
foregoing sentence meaning, "We give you such as 
(those are which) we have." 

Who is used to represent persons, which to represent 
inferior animals and things without life, what to repre- 
sent things, and thxit to represent both persons and 

What, that, and which have the same form in the nom- 
inative as in the objective case. 

In many sentences what is equivalent to both the ante- 
cedent and the relative ; as in — 

a. That is what I saw. 

b. He bought what he wanted. 

In parsing what, a form something like the following 
is the simplest : In the first sentence, " What is a rela- 
tive pronoun having a double construction. It is in the 
nominative case after is, and in the objective case after 


Three of the words used as relative pronouns, who^ 
which, what, are used also as Interrogative Pronouns. 

Interrogative pronouns are used to ask questions. 

The possessive form of who and which is whose. What 
and that have no possessive form. 

Syntax of Relativb Pronouns. 

The relative pronoun who is sometimes applied to the 
names of animals when these are personified ; as, " The 
fox, who now addressed the assembly," etc. 

Which was formerly used in referring to persons ; as, 
" Our Father, which art in heaven," but the question is 
pertinent as to this expression, the opening of the Lord's 
Prayer, May not the use of which here arise from the 
thought that the petitioner was addressing the Lord not 
as a person but as a pure spirit? 

A clause introduced by a relative pronoun is said to 
be restrictive when it limits or restricts the meaning of 
its antecedent word as would be done by an adjective. 
Thus, " The man who is indiistrious will succeed ;" that 
is, " The industrious man will succeed." 

Notice the difference in the force of the relative clauses 
in the following : 

a. "My brother that is studying law will be examined 
in June." (Restrictive.) 

h, " My brother, who has been spending the summer 
with us, will return to the city soon." (Non-restrictive.) 

In sentence h, the subordinate clause " who has been 
spending the summer with us," may be stricken out 
without changing the meaning of the main clause, but 
this cannot be done with a restrictive clause. 

Relative pronouns which are used apparently in an- 
swer to questions, as " Who spoke ?" — " I do not know 
who spoke," are known as Responsive Relative Pronouns. 


The relative pronoun should be placed near its ante- 
cedent to avoid ambiguity. 

When a relative pronoun represents a collective noun 
denoting unity, xchich is used; as, "The school, which 
convened at nine, has been dismissed." 

When a proper name is used merely as a word, it is 
represented by which; thus, "Washington, a name which 
is dear to everv American." 

What should not be used instead of the conjunction 
that; as, "We do not know but what [that] he may 

Whom and which generally follow the preposition by 
which they are governed ; that always precedes both the 
verb and the preposition. Thus, "To whom did he 
speak?" "Here is the boy that I spoke to." 

That is frequently used instead of who or which. The 
following are the most important cases : 

a. After who used interrogatively ; as, " Who that has 
seen his work is not pleased ?" 

b. After an adjective or an adverb in the superlative 
degree; as, "This is the best that we could get." 

c. When reference is made to antecedents which sep- 
arately are represented by who and which; as, "Both the 
horse and the rider that we saw fell off the bridge." 

d. After the adjectives same, very, and every, when the 
relative clause is restrictive ; as, " This is the same man 
that called yesterday." 

e. After the pronoun it used indefinitely; as, "It was 
not I alone that was careless." 

/. After all and similar antecedents when the limiting 
clause is restrictive; as, "All that are studious will im- 

By many writers and speakers the last of these rules 
is not strictly observed. Thus, while it is certainly cor- 


rect to say "AH that are interested will remain," the 
form "All who are interested will remain " is sanctioned 
by custom at least. 

A change of relatives referring to the same antecedent 
should be avoided. The following is incorrect : " This 
is the same person thai called, and whom we met in the 

Violations of the Correct TTsage of Relative Pronouns. 

Who [whom] have we here ? — Goldsmith. 

Our party of seventeen, the largest which [that] ever entered 
the valley. — Richardson. 

Massillon is perhaps the most eloquent writer of sermons 
which [that] modern times have produced. — Blair. 

Who [whom] should 1 meet the other day but my old friend? 
— Steele. 

The princes and states who [that] had neglected or favored 
the growth of this power. — Bolinghroke, 

The army whom [which] the chief had abandoned, pursued 
meanwhile their [its] miserable march. — LockharVs Napoleon. 

Both minister and magistrate are compelled to choose be- 
tween his [their] duty and (their) reputation. — Junius. 

The first American wJw [that] adopted literature as a calling, 
and who [that] successfully relied on his pen for support, etc. — 
A History of Literature, 

This is just as if an eye or a foot should demand a salary for 
their [its] service to the body. — Collier^ s Antoninus. 

When you press a watch or pull a clock, they answer [it an- 
swers] your question with precision, for they report [it reports] 
exactly the hour of the day, and tell [tells] you neither more 
nor less than you desire to know. — Bolinghroke. 

Valancourt was the hero of one of the most famous romances 
which [that] was [were] published in this country. — TJmckeray. 
Not the Mogul, or Czar of Muscovy, 
Nor [or] Prester John, or Chan of Tartary, 
Are [isj in their houses [his house] monarch more than I. 

— King : British Poets, 


Bryant was the first American who [that] discovered that the 
flowers and birds of New England were not those of Old Eng- 
land. — A History of Literature, 

The same might as well be said of Virgil, or any (other) great 
author, whose general character will infallibly raise many casual 
additions to their [his] reputation. — Pope, 

The crisis is one of the most singular which [that] have ever 
occu rred. — Econom ist. 

All the virtues of mankind are to be counted upon a few fin- 
gers, but hi8 [its] follies and vices are innumerable. — Swift, 

Undoubtedly he was the most powerful speaker, the most 
active minister, the truest man, which [that] the kirk has had 
since Chalmers' death. — W. C, Smith, in Tlieological Review, 

Reflexive Pronouns. 

Dr. Morris, in English Accidence, shows that formerly 
the simple personal pronouns might be used reflexively, 
as in Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice, " I do repent me," 
the addition of the syllable self only rendering their re- 
flective signification more emphatic. Self was an adjec- 
tive, meaning some, but afterward it became a noun. 
Ben Jonson uses the phrase " my woeful self." 

The use of myself, yourself, etc., for I, your, etc., is not 
sanctioned by good authority. Thus, ^* Myself did it," 
is not regarded as good English, because the word myself 
here loses its reflective character and becomes the simple 

Violations of the Correct Usage of Compound Personal 


I saw that it was impossible that Sir Lionel Somers and my- 
^eff [I] should ever get on well together as man and wife. — 

Jerrold, Mr. Herbert Ingram, Mr. Peter Cunningham, and 
Myself [IJ were out for a day's ramble. — Z>r. Charles Mackay. 


Mr. Studer and myself [I] had already decided on taking one 
man apiece as a personal attendant. — Prof. P. Forbes. 

Parliament, yourself [you] and many other independent mem- 
bers, were unwillingly, etc. — Benj. Disraeli. 

The reader will be indebted for any interest he may find in 
these pages as much to my correspondents as myself [to me]. — 
Public School Report. 

In October, George and myself [I] went to spend a w^eek or 
ten days at Hampton Court. — Mrs. Grote : Life of George Grote. 


The chief division of verbs is into transitive and in- 
transitive, the former of which may be followed by a 
noun or a pronoun in the objective case, and the latter 

A transitive verb expresses action, and this action is 
such as either literally or figuratively passes from the 
actor to a receiver of the act. 

A transitive verb requires an object to complete its 
meaning. Thus, " He makes " is not complete in sense 
until some noun or pronoun in the objective case is 
made to follow; as, "He makes wagons." Makes is 
therefore a transitive verb. 

When the sense is complete without the use of an 
object, the verb is intransitive; thus, the verb hake in 
the sentence, "She can bake," though in the sentence 
"She can bake bread," the same verb, hake^ is transi- 

An intransitive verb that does not express action is 
known as a Neuter Vei'h ; as, is, are^ was, etc. 

An intransitive verb may be used transitively when 
followed by a word of similar meaning ; as, " I dreamed 
a dream f^ "She lived a wretched life.'*'* 

An intransitive verb may also be used transitively 


when it has a causative meaning; as, "The boy flies 
his kite" i^causes it to fly); "The engineer runs his 

A verb may be transitive with one meaning and in- 
transitive with another. Thus, "I will return the 
books" (trans.); "We will return to the city" (in- 


Transitive verbs are said to have voice, a property 
which shows whether the subject of the sentence rep- 
resents the actor or the thing acted upon; as, **The boy 
shot a bird ;" " A bird was shot by the boy.'' The first 
form, where the subject represents the actor, is known 
as the Active Voice^ and the second as the Passive Voice. 
The verbs in these sentences, shot and wols shot, are the 
same verb in two forms, either showing that the action 
passes from one object, boy, to another, bird. 

Intransitive verbs may, when followed by a preposi- 
tion, take the form of the passive voice ; as, " We were 
laughed at^' (ridiculed). In such sentences the verb, 
including the preposition, is a complex verb. 

Sometimes transitive verbs have the active form with 
a passive meaning"; as, 

a. Some goods sell readily. 

b. The field ploughs well. 


Mode is the manner in which an assertion is ex- 
pressed. Most grammarians give five modes of the 
verb, — Indicative, Potential, Subjunctive, Imperative, and 

Some reject the potential, and others seem inclined to 
reject the subjunctive. 


Hodgson, in liis Errors in the Use of English^ says, "The 
mood in the use of which mistakes are commonest, is 
the subjunctive, a mood that as a separate inflection is 
dying out in the language, the tendency being to merge 
the distinction between it and the indicative." 

The subjunctive mode is used to express an assertion 
as doubtful or conditional. 

The distinction between the indicative and the sub- 
junctive is usually carefully observed by correct writers. 

o. If it rains (now), let us remain indoors. 
6. If it rain to-morrow, we cannot go. 

The first of these sentences admits of no doubt. It 
either rains or it does not rain, and the fact that we 
know is implied in the indicative form, "If it rains." 
But in the second sentence we are in doubt, unable to 
tell whether it wiU or will not rain to-morrow, and 
therefore express our doubt in the subjunctive form, 
" If it rain." 

Sometimes the sign of the subjunctive is omitted ; as, 
" Were I in his place;" that is, " If I were in his place." 

The conjunctions mostly used to introduce the sub- 
junctive form are unlesSj if though, lest, except, provided; 
but these conjunctions, or at least a part of them, may 
be used with the indicative form. For a verb to be in 
the subjunctive mode, the essential thing is that it 
express doubt, or a future contingency or condition. 

Errors in the Use of Modes. 

We shall be disgusted if he gives [give] us too much. — Blair, 
If thou findeat [find] any kernelwort in the marshy meadow, 
bring it me. — Neefs Methods of Teaching, 

What is it to thee, if he neglect thy urn, 
Or without spices lets [let] thy body burn? — Dryden, 


A certain lady whom I could name if it was [were] necessary. 
— Spectator. 

Human works are of no significancy till they be [are] com- 
pleted. — Karnes, 

Though perspicuity be [is] more properly a rhetorical than a 
grammatical quality, I thought it better to include it in this 
book. — Cumpbelfs Rhetoric, 

Although the efficient cause be [is] obscure, the final cause 
of those sensations lies open. — Blair, 

Our disgust lessens gradually till it vanish [vanishes] alto- 
gether. — Karnes : Elements of Criticism, 

It ought to weigh heavily on a man's conscience if he have 
[has] been the cause of another's deviating from sincerity. — 
W, J. Fox : Works, 

Enough has been done, I trust, to satisfy them that if Keble 
was a scholar, a divine, a remarkably gifted poet, if he were 
[was] exemplary as a friend, a brother, son, and husband, so he 
was admirable in the discharge of his duties as a parish priest. 
Sir J, T, Coleridge. 

If the cavern into which they entered were [was] of artificial 
construction, considerable pains had been taken to make it look 
natural. — W. Black, 

If I am [be] in the City at that time, I will do all I can to 
prevent the desecration of the Sabbath. — Newspaper, 


Tense is said to denote the time of an action or event. 
The indicative mode has six tenses : three absolute, — the 
Present, the Past, and the Future; and three relative, — 
the Present Perfect, the Past Perfect, and the Future Per- 

The indicative mode is the only one in which the 

tenses indicate time accurately. 

The Present and the Present Perfect tense both refer 
to present time. The former represents an act as taking 
place at the present time ; as, " I write," while the Pres- 


ent Perfect represents an act as completed during present 
time ; as, " I have written to-day." The present perfect 
tense of the indicative mode has for its sign the word 
have; as, "have sung;" "have seen." 

The Present Tense, in addition to denoting present 
time, may express a general truth; as, "Cold freezes 

It may also express a habit or a custom; as, "The 
boy is diligent;" "We think constantly." 

It may also represent the past or the future as pres- 
ent; as, "Columbus crosses the ocean and discovers a 
new world ;" " I see the era of prosperity as it dawns 
upon us." 

The Past Tense denotes ivhat took place in past time ; 
as, " We sang;" " We were singing." 

It also expresses what was customary; as, "They 
always were very agreeable." 

The Past Perfect Tense denotes an action or an event 
as complete before some past time; as, "The meeting 
had convened before we arrived;" that is, we arrived 
in past time, but the convening of the meeting, also 
in past time, had taken place before our arrival. 

The sign of the past perfect tense in the indicative 
mode is had; as, "had gone;" "had sung." 

The Future Tense denotes future time ; as, " We shall 
come;" "They will pay us a visit." 

The sign of the future tense is shaJJ, or wiU, 

In promises, toUl is used in the first person, and shall 
in the second and the third ; as, " I will go ;" " He shall 

To denote futurity or prediction, shall is used in the 
first person, and mil in the second and the third; as, 
" We shall be there ;" " Will vou be there ?" 

The Future Perfect Tense denotes an act completed 


before some future time; as, "The train will have gone 
before we reach the station ;" that is, we shall reach the 
station in future time, but the going of the train will be 
an act completed before our reaching the stjition. 

The sign of the future perfect tense is wiR have or shall 
have. Thus, " The snow will have melted before spring 
comes ;" ** We shall have completed the work before the 
close of the week." 

There are many errors made in connection with the 
past perfect and the future perfect tense, especially in 
ordinary conversation. 

Goold Brown gives the following sentence from Blair 
as an impropriety for correction : " I had written before 
I received his letter." The sentence is correct. 

Errors in the Use of Tenses. 

It was observed by Newton that the diamond possessed [pos- 
sesses] a very high refractive power compared with its density. 
— Haven. 

It always was [has been] my opinion that we would succeed 
finally. — Newspaper. 

As we remember to have heard an acute and learned judge 
profess his ignorance of what an articulator was [is], we may 
explain, etc. — Westminster Review. 

He insisted that the Constitution was [is] certain and fixed, 
and contained [contains] the permanent will of the people, and 
wa>s [is] the supreme law, and could [can] be revoked only by 
the authority that ma^e it. — Kent. 

It was [is] a pity I was the only child ; for my mother had 
fondness of heart enough to have spoiled a dozen. — Irving, 

Arts were [had been] of late introduced among them. — 

The wittiness of the passage was [had been] already illus- 
trated. — CamphelVs Rhetoric. 

They have done [did] anciently a great deal of hxui.-^Boling' 


I observed that love constituted [constitutes] the whole moral 
character of God. — Dwight. 

Two young gentlemen, who have made a discovery that there 
was [is] no God. — Swift, 

Syntax op Verbs. 

A finite verb agrees with its subject in number and 

Though the pronouns we and you are frequently used 
to represent a single person, the verbs used with them 
must agree with them in the plural form. 

When it^ used indefinitely, is the subject of a sentence, 
the verb agrees with it in the third person, singular num- 
ber, but the verb may be followed by a nominative dif- 
fering from the subject in either person or number, or 
both ; as, " It was either you or they that called to me." 

When the subject of a sentence is a phrase or a clause, 
the verb agrees with it in the third person, singular num- 
ber; as, "To know great and good men is a pleasure." 

The finite verb never agrees with a noun in the first 
or the second person, but with a pronoun representing 
it. Thus, " I, James Smith, do hereby depose ;" " Boys, 
you deserve much praise." 

The number of a verb fiaving for its subject a noun 
whose form is the same in both numbers, is determined 
by the meaning of the sentence. Thus, " A sheep was 
sold;" "Some sheep were sold." 

When a verb has several subjects of different persons, 
it agrees with the first person rather than the second, 
and with the second rather than the third. Thus, "You 
and I will go ;" " He and you came ;" " He and I will 


When two or more subjects in the singular number, 
connected by and^ follow the verb, it is sometimes used 




The House of Commons were [was] of small Weight. — Hunt, 


Small as the number of inhabitants are [is], yet their poverty 
is extreme. — Payne's Geology. 

The number of school districts have [has] increased during 
the year. — School Report. 

In France the peasantry goes [go] barefoot, and the middle 
sort makes [make] use of wooden shoes. — Harvey. 

Above [?more than] one-half of them was [were] cut off 
before the return of spring. — Robertson's America, 

Subject® Connected by And or As well as. — A verb 
having two or more subjects denoting different persons 
or things taken together, agrees with them in the plural 
number ; as, ** Father and mother ^re here." 

A verb having two or more singular subjects connected 
by and^ but referring to the same person or thing, is in 
the singular number. Thus, "The great orator and 
statesman, Webster, was a senator." 

When two or more subjects in the singular number 
are preceded by each^ every ^ or no^ the verb agrees with 
them in the singular number. Thus, "Every man, 
woman, and child was attentive." 

When two subjects in the singular number, connected 
by and^ are emphatically distinguished, they belong to 
different propositions, and the verb expressed agrees 
with the first only, the predicate of the second being 
understood. Thus, "Their pleasure, and not the wel- 
fare of the people, was their chief consideration." 

When the verb separates the subjects, it agrees with 
that which precedes it ; as, " Thy beauty walks, thy ten- 
derness and love." 

When two subjects are connected by and^ one of which 
is affirmative and the other negative, they belong to dif- 
ferent propositions, and the verb agrees with the affirm- 
ative subject, and is understood with the other. Thus, 


A certain lady whom I could name if it was [were] necessary. 
— Spectator, 

Human works are of no significancy till they he [are] com- 
pleted. — Karnes, 

Though perspicuity be [is] more properly a rhetorical than a 
grammatical quality, I thought it hetter to include it in this 
hook. — CampbelVs Rhetoric. 

Although the eflScient cause be [is] obscure, the final cause 
of those sensations lies open. — Blair, 

Our disgust lessens gradually till it vanish [vanishes] alto- 
gether. — Karnes : Elements of Criticism, 

It ought to weigh heavily on a man's conscience if he have 
[has] been the cause of another's deviating from sincerity. — 
W, J, Fox : Works, 

Enough has been done, I trust, to satisfy them that if Keble 
was a scholar, a divine, a remarkably gifted poet, if he were 
[was] exemplary as a friend, a brother, son, and husband, so he 
was admirable in the discharge of his duties as a parish priest. 
— Sir J, T, Coleridge, 

If the cavern into which they entered were [was] of artificial 
construction, considerable pains had been taken to make it look 
natural. — W. Black, 

If I am [be] in the City at that time, I will do all I can to 
prevent the desecration of the Sabbath. — Newspaper, 


Tense is said to denote the time of an action or event. 
The indicative mode has six tenses : three absolute, — the 
Present, the Past, and the Future; and three relative, — 
the Present Perfect, the Past Perfect, and the Future Per- 

The indicative mode is the only one in which the 
tenses indicate time accurately. 

The Present and the Present Perfect tense both refer 
to present time. The former represents an act as taking 
place at the present time j as, " I write," while the Pres- 


Consequently, wherever space and time is [are] found, there 
God must also be. — Sir Isaac Newton, 

For where does [do] beauty, and high wit 
But in yon constellation meet? — Butler^ s Hudihras, 
Thence to the land where flows [flow] Ganges and Indus. — 
High rides the sun, thick rolls the dust, 
And feebler speeds [speed] the blow and thrust. — Sir W, Scott 
By which an oath and (a) penalty was [were] to be imposed 
upon the members. — Junius, 

There is [are] also the fear and (the) apprehension of it. — 
Butler^s Analogy, 

Bitter constraint and sad occasion dear 

Compels [compel] me to disturb your seasons due. 

— Milton^ s Lycidas, 
But it, as well as the lines immediately subsequent, defy 
[defies] all translation. — Coleridge. 

But their religion, as well as their customs and manners, were 
[was] strangely misapprehended. — Bolinghroke, 

But his jealous policy, as well as the fatal antipathy of Fon- 
seca, were [was] conspicuous. — Robertson^s America, 

By that time every window and every door on the street were 
[was] full of heads. — Newspaper, 

Subjects Connected by Or or Nor. — When two or 
more subjects in the singular number are connected by 
or or nor^ the verb agrees with them in the singular. 
Thus, "Neither parent nor child. was saved." 

When one of the subjects connected by or or nor is in 
the plural number, it is placed nearest the verb, and the 
ferb is made plural. Thus, "Neither the teacher nor 
the pupils were present." 

When the verb has two or more subjects of different 
persons, connected by or or nor^ it agrees in person with 
the one nearest to it. Thus, " Neither he nor I am will- 
ing;" " Neither Henry nor you are ready." 


Errors in the Use of Verbs. 

No monstrous height, or length, or breadth appear [appears], 

— P0})f. 

Nor want nor cold his course delay [delays]. — Johnson. 

Neither the intellect nor the heart are [is] capable of being 
driven. — Abbott. 

Nor he nor I are [am] capable of harboring a thought against 
your peace. — Walpole, 

By which he, or his deputy, were [was] authorized to cut down 
any trees in Whittlebury forest. — Junius. 

A lucky anecdote, or an enlivening talk, relieve [relieves] the 
folio page. — fgaac Disraeli. 

Yet sometimes we have seen that wine, or chance, have [has] 
warmed cold brains. — Dryden. 

A rusty nail, or a crooked pin, shoot [shoots] up into prodi- 
gies (?a prodigy). — Spectator. 

Neither history nor tradition furnish [furnishes] such infor- 
mation. — Robertson. 

Praise from a friend or censure from a foe. 

Are [is] lost on hearers that our merits know. — Pope. 

Neither Charles nor his brother were [was] qualified to sup- 
port such a system. — Junivs. 

When, therefore, neither the liveliness of representation, nor 
the warmth of passion, serve [serves], as it were, to cover the 
trespass, it is not safe to leave the beaten track. — CampbelPs 

Neither the general situation of our colonies, nor that partic- 
ular distress which forced the inhabitants of Boston to take up 
arms, have [has] been thought worthy of a moment's considera- 
tion. — Junius. ^ 

Surely none of our readers are so unfortunate as not to know 
some man or woman who carry [carries] this atmosphere of 
peace and good will about them [?]. — Kingsley. 

No action or institution can be salutary and stable which are 
[is] not based on reason and the will of God. — Matthew Arnold. 

Neither his conduct nor his language have [has] left me with 
that impression.— Zorc? Houghton. 


The excommunication" of the Stock Exchange is far more 
terrible than the interdict of the Pope or the ban of Empire 
ever were [was]. — /Vo/". Rogers, 

. The Subject, with Modifiers. — A modifier of the sub- 
ject of a sentence does not afi*ect the form of the verb. 
Thus, "The number of visitors increases daily;" "Three 
months' interest is due." 

When the subject is a relative pronoun, the verb takes 
its number from the antecedent. Thus, *' The new audi- 
torium is one of the finest buildings that ever hxive been 
erected in the City." 

Errors in the Use of Verbs. 

The ninth book of Livy affords one of the most beautiful ex- 
emplifications of historical painting that is [are] anywhere to 
be met with. — Blair, 

The idea of such a collection of men as make [makes] an 
army. — Locke, 

How beauty is excelled by manly grace 
And wisdom, which alone is [are] truly fair. — Millon, 
What art thou, speak, that on designs unknown, 
While others sleep, thus range [rangestj the camp alone? 

— Pope, 
The rapidity of his movements were [was] beyond example. — 
Wells^ History, 

The mechanism of clocks and watches were [was] totally 
unknown. — Hume, 

And each of these afford [affords] employment. — PercivaPs 

The judicial power of these courts extend [extends] to all 
cases in law and equity. — School History, 

This is one of the very best treatises on money and coins that 
has [have] ever been published. — J. R. McOullough, 

I confess that I am one who am [is] unable to refuse my [his] 
assent to the conclusions of those philosophers who assert that 
nothing exists as it is perceived. — P. B. Shelley, 


Canlinal Wiseman has taken advantage of the attack to put 
forth one of the most brilliant appeals that has [have] appeared 
in my time; — Miss Mitford: Yesterdays with Authors, 

Whenever Don Guzman replied with one of those smiles of 
his, which (as Ay mas said afterward) wcu [were] so abominably 
like a sneer, that he had often hard work to keep his hands off 
the man. — Kingsley, 

Nominatives to be Expreeeed. — Every finite verb 
not in the imperative mode should have a separate 
nominative expressed except when the verb is repeated 
for the sake of emphasis, or is connected with another 
verb in the same construction, or is put after bat or than. 

Subjects Improperly Omitted. 

There is no man (who) would be more welcome. — Steele, 

Tliere is no man (who) doth a wrong for wrong's sake. — Lord 

The web of the natural and (that of) the supernatural are so 
woven together in the soul that they cannot be untied. — John 
Duncan, LL.D. 

Who is here so base that (he) would be a bondsman. — Beau- 
ties of Shakespeare, 

Mr. Prince has a genius (that) would prompt him to better 
things. — Spectator, 

Between an antecedent and a consequent, or what goes before, 
and (what) immediately follows. — Blair's Rhetoric, 

All the various miseries of life, which people bring upon 
themselves by negligence and folly, and (which) might have 
been avoided by proper care, are instances of this. — Butler^s 

Will martial flames forever fire thy mind. 

And (thou) never, never to Heaven be resigned? — Pope, 

Discrepant Subjects. — Sometimes in compound sen- 
tences a single predicate is used in connection with two 
or more subjects; as, "Not a dram was heard nor a 
funeral note,'*'^ 


This construction is admissible only where the sub- 
jects are in the same number, otherwise the rule for the 
agreement of a verb with its subject is violated, as in the 
following : " They are easily avoided, and their existence 
( ) forgotten." 

Verbs Improperly Omitted. 

The civil government was then very submissive, and heretics 
( ) almost unknown. — Lecky, 

His beard was white, his face ( ) pale and melancholy, his 
eyes ( ) lustrous, — Miss M, B, Edwards. 

His diet was abstemious, bis prayers ( ) long and fervent, 
and the alms which he received with one hand he distributed 
with the other. — Gibbon, 

The evening was made pleasant with sacred music, and the 
fatigues of two long services ( ) repaired by simple refections. 
— Holmes, 

Massinger is a decided Whig ; Beaumont and Fletcher ( ) 
high-flying, passive-obedience Tories. — Leslie Stephen, 

He belongs to one caste, and the hewers of wood and drawers 
of water ( ) to another. — W. J, Fox, 

The oddity has become always odder, the paradoxes ( ) still 
more paradoxical. — Lowell, 

His brow was wrinkled, his lips ( ) compressed, his eyes ( ) 
full of a terribly strong calm. — Kingsley, 

Still was her inward structure unchanged, her essential duties 
were unvaried, her course ( ) pursued with equal success. — Car- 
dinal Wiseman, 

At present all contributions of facts are to be welcomed, all 
hasty theorizing (is to be) encouraged. — Spectator, 

They were spreading his reputation, and every day ( ) bring- 
ing new friends. — J. T, McClennan, in Memoirs of Thomas Drum- 

Not only was the watch discovered, but duplicates ( ) [also] 
found. — Ih-aifs of Charact^, 

Public opinion is a reality as solid to him as the globe, its 
phenomena ( ) as influential as sunshine and darkness. — W, 
E. Alger. 


But the young doctor came, and the old doctor came, and the 
infantji were laid in cotton-wool, and the room ( ) heated up 
to keep them warm, and bay-teaspoonfuls of milk ( ) given 
them . — Holmes, 

These tracts were always kept lighted, and the expense 
thereof ( ) defrayed by a special tax. — The Cdming JRace. 

The offenses against morality are condoned too easily,- and 
the line between vice and virtue ( ) drawn in accordance with 
certain distinctions which even Parson Adams could scarcely 
have approved. — Leslie Stephen, « 

The Subject Limited by Ac^'ectives. — When a sub- 
ject is limited by two or more adjectives, it is in the 
plural if each adjective is preceded by an article, but in 
the singular if there is but one article used. Thus, 
**The logical and the historical analysis coincided 
(There are two analyses.) "The figurative or meta- 
phorical expression has a different meaning from the 
literal." Figvrative and metaphorical take but one article 
because they limit a noun in the singular, which in turn 
takes a verb in the singular as its predicate. 

Errors in the Number of the Predicate Verb. 

The moody and savage state of mind of the sullen and ambi- 
tious are [is] admirably drawn. — Spectator, 

The material and (the) mental world have their points of 
union, blending them together. — W. J. Fox, 

Note. — Dr. Hodgson would have this read " The ma- 
terial and the mental worlds have," etc. This would 
mean "The material worlds and the mental worlds," 
w^hich is incorrect. The word loorld is understood after 
the word material in the expression, but the article the 
should precede mental, to show that two worlds are 

The expression " Vocal and instrumental music now 


invariably form a considerable part of the programme," 
which Dr. Hodgson condemns, is correct as it stands. 

So, also, in the following the verb is correct: "But 
with Socrates moral and intellectual excellence were in- 
separable, and as he could discover no security for con- 
duct but knowledge, so he could find, in the first instance 
at least, no other subject for knowledge but [than] hu- 
man conduct." — Saturday Review, 

The following sentences, given by Dr. Hodgson in 
Errors in the Use of English, as illustrations of the incor- 
rect use of the verb, are correct, except where noted by 
the marks of parenthesis: 

Bodily and intellectual labor were paid at the same rate of 
wages. — M, D. Conway, 

Sacred and profane wisdom agree in declaring that "pride 
goeth before a fall." — Spedaior, 

Those most important and complex changes which political 
and social science have brought about. — Sir H, Holland, 

To be worth anything, literary and scientific criticism require, 
both of them, the finest heads and tlffe most sure [surest] tact. — 
Matthew Arnold, 

It is not only possible, but (also) probable, that lay and cler- 
ical opinion are at variance. — Manchester Examiner, 

It is true that the Scotch and (the) English patronage are 
two different things. — Spectator, 

In each of the six foregoing sentences a noun is under- 
stood after the first of each pair of adjectives. 

Distributive Pronouns as Subjects. — The distribu- 
tive adjective pronouns, each^ either^ neither^ when used 
as subjects, require verbs and pronouns in the singular 
number ; as, " Each of the boys has done his duty." 

Indefinite Pronominal Adjectives as Subjects. — Of 
the indefinite pronominal adjectives, when used as pro- 
nouns, some and all are used in the plural ; one^ other , and 


another, in the singular ; and any and none in either the 
singular or the plural, according to the sense implied in 
the sentence. 

Errors in the Use of Verbs having Adjective Prononns as 


It is true that not one of the bright particular stars of Polish 
history were [was] of that line or age. — Saturday Review, 
While either of these are [is] hungry, 
Nor poppy, nor mandragora, 
Nor all the drowsy syrups of the East 
Will ever medicine them [him] to slumber. — Fielding. 

Neither of these boys were [was] so remarkable for their [his] 
talents as for (the) thoroughness of their [his] work. — Rev, G, 

In this composition neither of the arms cro88 [crosses] the 
body. — Lady Eastlake, 

Neither of us deny [denies] that Homer and Virgil have great 
beauties. — Blair, 

But neither of these circumstances are [is] intended here. — 
Horne Tooke, 

And yet neither of them express [expresses] any more action 
in this case than they [he] did in the other. — Bullions. 

Each in their [his] turn like Banquo's monarchs«to/^ [stalks]. 
— Byron, 

"Mind," says one, "soul," says another, "brain or matter," 
says a third ; but none of these are [is] right. — C, Bray: Illu- 
sion and Delusion: 

Relative Pronouns as Subjects. — Frequent errors 
occur in the putting of a relative pronoun in the object- 
ive case where it is used as the subject of a verb. Thus, 
" I saw the boy whom [who] we thought had gone." 

Errors in the Use of Eelative Pronouns as Subjects and 

Predicate Nominatives. 

Nina was annoyed by the presence of Mr. Jekyl, whom [who] 
her brothers insisted should remain to dinner. — Mrs, H, B, Stowe, 


Those two, no matter who spoke, or whom [who] was ad- 
dressed, looked at each other. — Dickens, 

I offer a prize of six pairs [pair] of gloves to whomsoever 
[whosoever] will tell me what idea in this second part is mine. 
— Dickens, 

The face of the good Samaritan was written on the face of 
whomsover [whosoever] opens to the stranger. — Miss Alcott, 

Why should I be told to serve Him if I do not know Whom 
[who] it is I serve? — Florence Nightingale, 

Pray, remain single and marry nobody, let him be whom 
[who] he may. — Sidney Smith, 

Milton, in his " Iconoclastes," insolently wrote, " I shall not 
instance an abstruse author, wherein the king might be less 
conversant, but one whom [who] we well know was the closest 
companion of these solitudes, William Shakespeare." — /. Dis- 

Friday, whom [who] he thinks would be better than a dog, 
and almost as good as a pony. — National Beview, 

I was assured that if taken up by English capitalists, whom 
[who] they seemed very anxious should buy and work them, 
the mines would be found highly remunerative. — King: Fen- 
nine Alps, 

Eelative Pronouns to be Eepeated.— In contracted 
sentences, when the case or the government is changed, 
the relative should be repeated. Thus, " The upper part 
of the house, of which I know nothing and have never 
seen," should read "which I have never seen." 

Eelative Pronoims Improperly Omitted. 

The domain of the husband to whom she felt that she had 
sold herself, and (by whom she) had been paid the strict price — 
nay, paid more than she had dared to ask. — George Eliot, in 
Daniel Deronda, 

Originality in politics, as in every field of art, consists in the 
use and application of the ideas which we get or (which) are 
given to us. — Justin McCarthy, 


It is a persuasion which we all smile at in one another, and 
(which) we all justify in ourselves. — Miss Martineau. 

A man could not sustain such a position ; it represents a mo^ 
raentary action, which the sculptor must have often seen, and 
(which) is perfectly true to nature. — Lcult/ Eastlahe, 

One of the last of his parliamentary speeches was delivered 
in defense of Warren Hastings, with whom he was on terms of 
intimate friendship, and (whom he) regarded as a consummate 
statesman, and the savior of India. — W, F. Eae, in John WUkes, 

While at Brussels he fought a duel by moonlight with a Span- 
iard with whom he had been gambling, and (whom he) suspected 
of cheating him. — Lady Jackson, in Old Paris, 

Agreement in Tense. — Verbs connected by and, nor, 
than, etc., and referring to acts occurring at the same 
time, must agree in tense. 

A proper succession of tenses should be observed 
where one verb depends on another. 


Srron in the Use of Teiues. 

It would doubtless have exhibited itself quietly enough if it 
were [had been] absolutely undiluted. — Justin McCarthy, 

If with equal force of character his intellectual power had 
been less, we should feel [should have felt] the shock without 
the mysterious attraction. — Leslie Stephen, 

Very amusing and useful companions Dharma would have 
found them, were it not [had it not been] for her longing after 
the woods and sea-breezes of Cliffdale. — Dharma, vol. iii., p. 

We can conceive no argument more utterly baseless than 
that which assumes (thai) he would have accomplished all he 
has done, and a great deal more, if a different principle of 
action were [had been] substituted for that which, as yet, has 
always been the main-spring of his movements. — Quarterly 

It is entirely reasonable to doubt that were [had] temporal 
aid and support also (been) offered, they would likewise have 
been at once thankfully received. — Bev, W. Mcllwaine, 


Ellipsis of the Principal Verb. — In subordinate 
clauses, in contracted sentences, and in answers, the 
auxiliaries do, have, may, can, shall, and uoill, 'sometimes 
admit of an ellipsis of the principal verb ; as, " He never 
did like the work and he never will." 

An ellipsis of this kind is permissible only when the 
form of the verb in one clause is such that it can be 
repeated without change in the other. Thus, " I have 
not spoken, and I cannot (spoken) " is neither correct 
nor justifiable. 

Improper Omission of Verbs. 

I am anxious for the time when he will talk as much non- 
sense to me as I have (talked) to him. — W. &\ Landor, 

Some part of this exemption and liability may (be) and no 
doubt is due to mental or physical causes in the unhappy or 
(in the) fortunate individual. — Spectator, 

Shelley, like Byron, knew early what it was [is] to love ; al- 
most all the great poets have (known). — Memoirs of Shelley, 

She could meet no one among the lanes and (the) cornfields 
who could claim her as had those odious relations [relatives] of 
hers (claimed her). — Mrs, Linton, in Sowing the Wind, 

But the problem is one which no research has hitherto solved, 
and probably never will (solve). — Sir H, Holland, 

No introduction has (authorized), nor in all probability ever 
will authorize, that which common thinkers would call a lib- 
erty. — P, B, Shelley, 

He ridicules the notion that truth will prevail ; it never has 
(prevailed) and it never will (prevail). — Leslie Stephen, 

I never have (attacked) and (I) never will attack a man for 
speculative opinion. — H, T. Buckle, 

Di^oined Subjects. — When a subject in the singular 
number is connected with another noun or pronoun by 
with instead of and, the verb should have the singular 
form. Thus, " The house and its contents were burned," 
but " The house, with its contents, was burned." 


Wliere plurality is signified, as "the house and the 
barn," it is better to use and rather than with, 

Errors in the Use of Verbs with Disjoined Sabjects. 

My sympathy with him in this ill-usage, along with my ad- 
miration for his fortitude and generosity, were [was] the begin- 
ning of the great affection that I afterward had for him. — Hope: 
Stories of Ideal Life, 

Poor Mrs. B's crippled baby, with all his many other failures, 
were [was] at once forgotten by his patience. — John Hollings- 
head, in Ways of Life. 

The amount of discussion which finds utterance in the poem, 
equally with the valuable analysis of mental phenomena, are 
[is] nothing less than startling. — H B. Forman, 

The electric light, with powerful reflectors, are [is] the means 
to be employed. — Newspaper, 

When Leonidas, the Spartan king, with [and] his chosen 
band fighting for their country, were cut off to the last man. — 
Karries' Elements of Oriticisrn, 

And a considerable village, with gardens, fields, etc., extend 
[extends] around on each side of the square. — Liberator, 
The spacious firmament on high. 
With all the blue ethereal sky, 
And spangled heavens, a shining frame, 
Their great Original proclaim [proclaims]. — Addison, 

The side AB, with the side BC, form [forms] a right angle. 
— Geometry, 

The bag, with the money and the checks in it, were [was] 
stolen . — Newspaper, 

The King, with [and] the Lords and (the) Commons, consti- 
tute an excellent form of government. — Orombie^s Treatise, 

The .Concord of "There." — Either a singular or a 
plural verb may follow there introducing a sentence, 
according to the number of the noun used as the sub- 
ject of the sentence. 

Dr. Abbott cites thirty-two passages from Shakespeare 


in which " There is," " There was," etc., singular forms, 
are followed by plural subjects, or two or more singular 
subjects. But this is not in accordance with good usage, 
nor should this bad example be imitated. 

Errors in the Concord of There. 

On the table there was [were] neatly and handily arranged 
two long pipes. — James Greenwood, in Unsentimental JouV' 

There exists [exist] sometimes only in germ and potentiality, 
sometimes more or less developed, the same tendencies and pas- 
sions which [that] have made our fellow-citizens of other classes 
what thev are. — Matthew Arnold, 

There is [are] such malice, treachery, and dissimulation, even 
among professed friends and intimate companions, as cannot 
fail to strike a virtuous mind with horror. — Smollett, 

Although. the market traffic had not yet commenced, there 
was [were] considerable noise and confusion, — James Green- 

There was [were] the buoyancy of spirit, the undoubting con- 
fidence, that the riddle of the universe had at last been satis- 
factorily solved, and the power of seizing the picturesque and 
striking aspects of things, and embodying abstract theories in 
vivid symbols, which marks [mark] the second order of intel- 
lects. — Leslie Stephen, 

There was [were] about her the brilliancy of courts and pal- 
aces, the enchantment of a love-story, the suffering of a victim 
of despotic power. — Madame Bonaparte, 

Surely there is [are] both grandeur and eloquence in his ' 
apostrophe to the atheists whom [who] he knew abounded in 
Louis XIV.*s Court, and whom he warned that their eternity 
was an inevitable fact. — Bossriet and his Gompanions, 

Error of Proximity. — Frequently the subject of a 
sentence is obscured by the intervention of two or more 
prepositional phrases or dependent clauses between the 
subject and the verb agreeing with it. 


Errors of Prozmity. 

I have no feeling connected with my general recollection of 
them, but those to which the combination of good sense, wit, 
and genius naturally giv€ [gives] rise. — Sydney Smith, 

A moral and honorable mode of action and thought are [is] 
enforced as a duty. — Mayhew : German Life. 

If a man's conscience is either crotchety, superstitious, or 
cowardly, this is positive proof that the man himself must 
have been either felse, idle, or cowardly in his thoughts, and 
some degree of disappointment and contempt are [is] the appro- 
priate punishments [punishment] for these offenses. — Saturday 

The game was played out, and the end wa>s come [had come], 
as the end of such matters generally eom^ [comes], by gradual 
decay, petty disaster, and mistakes. — Kingsley. 

A sojourn of five years in the military hospitals, camps, and 
towns of Algeria have [has] originated and strengthened these 
opinions. — Miss M. B. Edwards. 

Culture points out that the harmonious perfection of genera- 
tions of Puritans and Nonconformists have [has] been in conse- 
quence sacrificed. — M. Arnold. 

The introduction of such beverages as tea and coffee have [has] 
not been without their [its] effects. — Westminster Review. 

On the tenant [tenant's] being ejected, the unexhausted valv^ 
of the unpaid manures go [goes] to the landlord. — Scotch Agri- 
cultural Report. 

M. Guizot's republication of some of his more important 
political essays, written at intervals during a period of fifty 
years, are [is] interesting at the present time. — Westminster 

The opposition of interests which we have spoken of refer 
[refers] only to variations in the relative magnitude of those 
portions or shares into which wealth is distributed. — Fawcett: 
Manual of Political Economy. 

As has been stated already, the severity of the symptoms were 
[was] no criterion of the severity of the disease. — A. Griffiths : 
Memorial of Millbank. 


The translation of specimens of the " Kecent French Poets," 
by Arthur O'Shaughnessy, are [has been] very brightly done. — 
. Guardian. 

The inferior number of red particles in their blood do [does] 
not make women the political inferiors of men. — Prof, T, C, 

Nothing but dreary dikes, muddy and straight, guarded by 
the ghosts of suicidal pollards, and by rows of dreary and des- 
olate mills, occur [occurs] to break the blank gray monotony of 
the landscape. — F, W, Farrar : St, Winifred, 

"Than" as a Connective. — Than, as a conjunction, 
is used to connect sentences ; as, " He is older than I " 
(am old). Dr. Hodgson and some others take the 
ground that than must connect like cases, nominative 
with nominative, and objective with objective. Thus, 
they would condemn the following sentence from Kings- 
ley's Westward Ho : " Think not of me, good fellows, nor 
talk of me; but come behind me decently, as Christian 
men, and follow to the grave the body of a better than 
I " and change the / to me, on the ground that the con- 
junction connects the noun man in the objective with 
the pronoun /, which they claim should also be in the 
objective case. 

The conjunction than connects sentences here as else- 
where, and the sentence means, " Follow to the grave a 
better man than I " (am good), and it is correct as writ- 
ten by Mr. Kingsley. 

So also the following from Dickens, which Dr. Hodg- 
son condemns, is correct: "The smooth manner of the 
spy, cautiously in dissonance with his ostentatiously- 
rough dress, and probably with his usual demeanor, 
received such a check from the inscrutability of Carton, 
who was a mystery to wiser and honester men than Ae, 
that it faltered here, and failed him." 


Errors in Case with "Than** as a Connective. 

I'll tell you what, brother Frank, you are a great deal wiser 
than me [I], I know, but I can't abide to see you turn up your 
nose, as it were, at God's good earth. — Kingsley. 

He must be a wiser man than me [1] who can tell what ad- 
vantage or satisfaction he derives from having brought such a 
nest of hornets about his ears. — Smollett. 


A verb in the infinitive mode is not limited by person 
or number. 

It may be used as a noun in either the nominative or 
the objective case. 

It may be used also as a modifier of any part of 
speech except an article, a preposition, a conjunction, 
or an interjection. 

When the infinitive is used as a noun, it may still be 
modified as a verb. 

The verb in the infinitive mode is sometimes used 
independently; as, "To confess the truth, I forgot the 

The infinitive of an intransitive verb, or of a transi- 
tive verb in the passive voice, may be followed by a 
noun or a pronoun used independently; as, " To become 
a successful man requires industry." 

The infinitive after a word of command is usually 
preceded by a noun or a pronoun in the objective case ; 
as, "We ordered him to come," the whole expression 
being the object of the finite verb ordered. 

The sign to must not be separated from the remaining 
part of the infinitive by an intervening word. Thus, 
"He tried finally to pay," not "He tried to finally 


After the active voice of the verbs hid (to command), 
see, feel, hear, let, make, dare (to venture), and verbs of 
similar meaning, as watch, behold, etc., the sign to of the 
infinitive is omitted ; as, " See him go ;" ** Let us play." 

The sign to is occasionally used after a few of the 
foregoing words when they are emphatic; as, "Barest 
thou to beard the lion in his den?" 

The infinitive sign io should never be used for the full 
form. Thus, " I did not go because I did not want to," 
should be " I did not go because I did not want to go." 

When the action, being, or state, expressed by the 
infinitive, is present or future as compared with that 
expressed by the verb which it limits, the present tense 
of the infinitive is used. Thus, " I expected to come ;" 
that is, I expected at that time to come then or in the 

When the action, being, or state, expressed by the 
infinitive, is past as compared with that expressed by 
the verb which it limits, the present perfect tense of the 
infinitive is used. Thus, " Caesar seems (present time) 
to have been (past time) ambitious." 

Verbs expressing hope, intention, desire, command, or 
expectation, are followed by the present tense of the 

Errors in the Use of the Infinitive. 

There are several faults which I intended to have mentioned 
[to mention]. — Webster, 

They hoped to have met [to meet] each other. — Newspaper, 

So as neither to embarrass nor (to) weaken each other. — 

Their character is found and made (to) appear. — Butler's 

He wanted to go, but he had no opportunity to (go). — NewS' 


He was made (to) believe that neither the king's death nor 
(his) imprisonment would help him. — Sheffield's Works, 

He can show his moral courage only by daring (to) do right. 
— Goold Brotcn, 

The bulls of Guisando are two vast statues remaining in that 
town ever since the time of the Romans, supposed to be [to have 
been] set up by Metellus. — LockharVs Don Quixote, 

We ought not to try and [to] define God. — Taine, 

They would not say that the facts stated in the indictment 
would have been fully sufficient to have warranted [to warrant] 
the judge to have directed [to direct], and the jury to have given 
[to give], a general verdict. — Lord Erskine, 

(Better, " Fully sufficient to warrant the judge in directing 
the jury to give," etc.) 

I found him better than I expected to have found [to find] 
hi m . — Priestley* s Grammar, 

I meant, when I first came, to have bought [to buy] it. — Sydney 

It has been my intention to have collected [to collect] the rem- 
nants of Keats' compositions. — Shelley, 

I intended to have insisted [to insist] on this sympathy at 
greater length. — RnsHn, 

Friendships which we once hoped and believed would never 
have grown [grow] cold. — F, W, Farrar : Julian Home, 

Could I have chosen my own period of the world to have lived 
[to live] in, and my own type of life, it should be [would have 
been] the feudal age, and the life of the Cid, the redresser of 
wrongs. — Rev, F, W. Robertson, 

I had hoped never to have seen [to see] the statues again when 
I missed them on the bridge. — Maeaulay, 

He paid me many compliments upon my sermon against bad 
husbands, so that it is clear he intended to have made [to make] 
a very good one. — Sydney Smith, 

We should have thought that the Bishop might have been 
contented to have pointed [to point] out that to nations, as to 
individuals, selfishness is its own worst punishment. — Spectaiar. 

We happened to have been [to be] present on the occasion. — 
May hew : German Life, 


We would have liked to have read [to read] it to Isola ; it 
would have been pleasant to have heard [to hear] his own voice 
giving due emphasis to the big words. — Mrs, Lynn Linton: 
Sowing the Wind, 

If he had lived longer, it would have been difficult for him to 
have kept [to keep] the station to which he had risen. — H. L, 
Bulwer, in Historical Characters, 

That the mind may not have to go backwards and forwards 
in order to rightly correct [rightly to correct] them. — Herbert 

I wish the reader to clearly understand [to understand clearly]. 
— RusH?i, ' 

Transactions which seem to be most widely separated [to be 
separated most widely] from one another. — Dr, Blair, 

The ladies seem to have been expressly created [to have been 
created expressly] to form helps meet for such gentlemen. — 

The spirits, therefore, of those opposed to them seemed to be 
considerably damped [to be damped considerably] by their con- 
tinued success. — Scott, 

That virtue which requires to be ever guarded [to be guarded 
ever] is scarcely worth the sentinel. — Goldsmith, 

In works of art, this kind of grandeur, which consists in mul- 
titude, is to be very cautiously guarded [to be guarded very cau- 
tiously] . — Burke, 

Sufficient to disgust a people whose manners were beginning 
to be strongly tinctured [to be tinctured strongly] with austerity. 
— Macaulay, 


A Participle partakes of the nature of a verb and of 
an adjective. 

When a participle is used as a noun it may be in 
either the nominative or the objective case, and be mod- 
ified in all respects like a verb. 

A participle used as a noun may be limited by a pos- 
sessive; as, "i/i/ staying did not interfere with their lULn- 


A participle may be followed by a noun or a pronoun 
used independently ; as, " My being a minister gained me 
ready entrance." 

The perfect participle, and not the past tense, is used 
with the auxiliaries have and he in the different modes 
and tenses. Thus, "We had gone;" "We have writ- 
ten;" "They have been singing." 

The past tense, and not the participle, should be 
used to express past time. Thus, "We went;" "We 

When the participle is preceded by the^ and generally 
when it is preceded by an adjective, it is followed by of; 
as, " The curbing of the temper is necessary." 

The placing of a participial phrase should be such as 
to make clear the meaning of the sentence in which it is 

A participle should not be used when the infinitive 
mode, a common noun, or a phrase equivalent, will 
better express the meaning. Thus, "The planting of 
a tree is evidence of a love of beauty," is better than 
"Planting a tree is evidence," etc. 

Errors in the Use of Participles. 

In the choice they had made of him, for (the) restoring of 
order. — Rollings History. 

In (the) punishing of this we overthrow 

The laws of nations and of nature too. — Dryden, 

It is the giving (of) different names of the same object. — 

The keeping (of) juries without meat, drink, or fire, can be 
accounted for only on the same idea. — Wehsier^s Essays, 

And yet the confining (of) themselves to this true principle 
has misled them. — Home Tooke. 

Which require only the doing (of) an external action. — But- 
ler* s Analogy, 


Miraculous curing (of) the sick is discontinued. — Barclay^ b 

Never Bit^m^t prolonging [to prolong] the pathetic too much. 
— Blair, 

But Artaxerxes could not refuse pardoning [to pardon] them. 
— Goldsmith* 8 Greece, 

You have proved beyond contradiction, that acting [to act] 
thus is the sure way to procure such an object. — CampbeWa 

And sound sleep thus broke [broken] off, with sudden alarms, 
is apt enough to discompose any one. — Locke, 

Garcilasso was master of the language spoke [spoken] by the 
Incas. — Robertson* 8 America. 

When an interesting story is broke [broken] off in the middle. 
— Karnes, 

I assure you therefore seriously, and upon my honor, that the 
carrying (of) this point seems essential to the success of this 
measure. — W. J, Fox, 

I suppose her knowledge of the Emperor [Emperor's] having 
left nothing to his son induced her to make such a will. — 
Madame Bonaparte, 

A hammer is the cause of the nail [nail's] being driven. — 

Is not the bare fact of God [God's] being the witness of it suffi- 
cient ground for its credibility to rest upon ? — Chalmers* Sermons, 

As in the case of one [one's] entering upon a new study. — 
Beattie*s Moral Science, 

From the general rule he lays down, of the verbs [verbs'] 
being the parent word of all language. — Home Tooke, 


Adverbs modify verbs, adjectives, participles, and other 

Adverbs may also modify phrases or clauses that per- 
form the office of adjectives or adverbs. Thus, in the 
sentence, "The road crosses the creek just below the 


city," the adverb just does not modify the preposition 
bdow^ as is stated by some writers on grammar, but it 
modifies the adverbial phrase "below the city." 

"The bird flew directly over the house ;^^ "The orchard 
is just beyond the meadow ;" " I was struck just below the 
eye,^^ are similar sentences in which directly and juM 
modify prepositional phrases used as adverbial modi- 

Adverbs when not modifiers may be used independ- 
ently, as the italicised words in the following: 

Wellj are you ready ? 

There were six in the carriage. 

NoWf let us start. 

The w^ords yes, yea, ay, no, nay, when used in answer 
to questions, are usually equivalent to propositions. 
They may be parsed as adverbs used independently. 
The word amen may be parsed in the same manner. 

Such expressions as " Up with " and " Down with " 
are properly complex verbs. 

Adverbial phrases should be parsed as single expres- 
sions only when the words of which they consist cannot 
be parsed separately. 

A conjunctive adverb not only connects two clauses, 
but it also modifies a verb in each clause. 

The independent adverb there is by some grammarians 
called an expletive. 

In such expressions as " scalding hot," " freezing cold," 
"dripping w^et," the words scalding, freezing, dripping, are 
adverbs used to modify the adjectives which follow 

The word the is an adverb when it modifies an adjec- 
tive or another adverb, aa^ in " The deeper the wxll, the 
cooler the water;" " The more I study, the better I like it." 


When simple quality is to be expressed an adjective, 
and not an adverb, should be used; as, 

" The rose smells sweets 
" The lady looks beautifulj* 
" I feel bad:' 

Adverbs should be so placed as to show clearly what 
words they modify. Thus, " I have only one," not " I 
only have one." 

As suggested in the discussion of infinitives, an adverb 
should not be placed between to and the remainder of 
the infinitive. 

Special care must be taken to place the adverbs only^ 
chiefly, merely, solely, and others of a similar signification 
in such a position that the meaning of the sentence may 
not be misunderstood. Thus, " He chiefly spoke for our 
entertainment," should be " He Spoke chiefly for our en- 
tertainment," in which chiefly modifies the phrase " for 
our entertainment." 

No as an adverb can modif}^ comparatives only ; as, 
no longer, no better, no more. It should not be used as a 
substitute for not, as in " I do not know whether I shall 
go or no [not]." 

The adverb ever, when it follows such words as rarely 
and seldom, is preceded by if; as, "Rarely, if ever;" 
"Seldom, if ever;" but the adverb never in such cases 
is preceded by or; as, "Rarely, or never ;'^ "Seldom, or 
never." All these are correct English expressions. 

When negation is intended, but one negative adverb 
should be used; as, "We have nothing to give;" but 
when affirmation is intended, not may be used before a 
word having a negative prefix ; as, " He was not disqual- 
ified;" "They were not dissatisfied." 

The adverb how and the words h^ow that should not be 


used as substitutes for the word that in adding a sub- 
ordinate clause ; thus, " They said that he must be pun- 
ished," not " how that he must be punished." 

From should not be used before the words hence^ whence^ 
thence^ as it is already implied in these words. Thus, 
whence means *^ from where," and from whence must mean 
" from from where." 

Where and when should not be used as substitutes for 
which and its adjuncts when meaning place or time. 
Thus, "I have forgotten the name of the town ichere 
they live," ghould be " in which they live." Also, " The 
year when this took place," should be " The year in which 
this took place." 

Avoid the use of ^most for almost, \cay for axoay, illy for 
iU, and directly for as soon as. There is no such word as 

Some writers on grammar object to the use of the 
word like as a conjunctive adverb, as in the sentence 
"The bird flies like a swallow." They claim that as 
should be substituted for like in all such cases. But 
there are manv sentences in which such a substitution 
would be misleading, and therefore incorrect. Notice 
the difference of meaning caused by the reconstruction 
of Byron's sentence, 

a, " The Assyrian came down like a wolf on the fold ;" 

b, " The Assyrian came down as a wolf," etc. 


In the first and correct form of the sentence the mean- 
ing is, "The Assyrian came do^n like a wolf (comes 
down) on the fold." 

In the second form, " The Assyrian came down as a 
wolf," etc., the Assyrian is made to assume the character 
of a wolf, a thought wholly foreign to the intention of 
the author. 


In the following sentences no question can arise as to 
the propriety of using like as a conjunctive adverb : 

a. Satan goeth about like a roaring lion (goeth about), seek- 
ing whom he may devour. — Bible, 

h. Sail like my pinnace (sails) to these golden shores. — Shake- 

c. I have ventured, 
Like little wanton boys that swim on bladders (venture), 
This many summers in a sea of glory. — Shakespeare, 

d. Like one (stands) in prayer I stood. — Longfellow, 

e. The cattle are grazing, 
Their heads never raising, 

There are forty feeding like one (feeds). — Wordsworth, 

f. Since I may say, now lie I like a king (lies). — Shakespeare, 

g. Spreading himself like a green bay tree (spreads itself). — 

h. Like the dew on the mountain ( ), 

Like the foam on the river ( ), 

Like the bubble on the fountain ( ), 
Thou art gone and forever. — Scott, 
i. [The sound] rang in his ears like the iron hoofs of the 
steeds of Time (ring). — Longfellow, 

J. Goodman Brown came into the street of Salem village 
staring like a bewildered man (stares). — Hawthorne, 

Sometimes when the verb is expressed in the subordi- 
nate clause, as or as if takes the place of like as the con- 
nective ; as, " I do with my friends as I do with my 
books." — Etiierson, 

One author on grammar says that like must not be 
followed by a noun or a pronoun in the nominative 
case; but it always is so followed when the verb in 
the principal clause expresses action. 

Another writer on grammar makes the very positive 
statement that like is never a conjunction, and therefore 
it cannot be used instead of as to introduce a clause. 



This author claims that it is incorrect to say " Run like 
I run," but that we may say "He runs like me," in 
which of course like is considered an adjective or an 
adverb. But the verb ruins being active, and actions 
being compared, the true meaning of the sentence is, 
" He runs like me runs," or, corrected, " He runs like I 
(run) ;" and " like " clearly performs the office of both 
conjunction and adverb, and is therefore a conjunctive 

Another author, in sentences such as " He walks like 
I walk," pronounces like a subordinate conjunction of 
manner. This is at least a new but wholly unnecessary 
division of conjunctions, which is already covered by 
the term conjunctive adverb, as the office of the word is 
not that of a conjunction alone nor that of an adverb, 
but of both. 

Like is used also as an adjective, in which case a prep- 
osition seems to be understood after the word " like " in 
sentences expressing a comparison ; Thus, 

" The boy was like (unto) his father." 

" What though my wingM hours of bliss have been, 

Like ( ) angels' visits, few and far between." — Campbell, 
" The boy looks like [resembles] his father." 

The distinction between the use of like as a conjunc- 
tive adverb and as an adjective is — 

1. That like as a conjunctive adverb compares actions ; 
as, " She sings like an angel (sings) ;" whereas like as an 
adjective compares objects; as, ^^John is like his father ;^^ 
"The school is like a government ;^^ ^^ She looks like her 

2. When like is used as a conjunctive adverb it is pre- 
ceded by a verb denoting action, and the same verb may 
be taken as the predicate of the clause following; as, 


"He runs like a deer (runs);" "You act like a child 

When Wee is used as an adjective in sentences ex- 
pressing comparison, the verb in the principal clause, 
preceding Zife, does not express action; as, "There is 
no statue like this living man." 

3. Like as a conjunctive adverb connects clauses of a 
complex sentence, and is followed by a noun or a pro- 
noun in the nominative case, used as the subject of the 
subordinate clause. 

In sentences where like is used as an adjective it is 
part of the predicate of the simple sentence in which it 
is found, and is followed b}^ a noun or a pronoun in the 
objective case ; as, " He is like ( ) me ;" " He is not 
unlike ( ) his father." 

The examples given show that it is entirely in accord- 
ance with the best of authority to use like as a conjunc- 
tive adverb with a nominative case following, or as an 
adjective with an objective following. 

Such sentences as "He talks like her" and "She 
walks like me," can mean only "He talks like her 
talks " and " She walks like me walks," and are gross 
violations of one of the simplest principles of grammar. 

Sometimes the adjective form of a verb is used ad- 
verbially ; as, "The swallow sings sweet from her nest in 
the wall." This is usually done in poetry to make the 
meter correct. 

Adverbs consisting of two or more words not united 
may be regarded as complex adverbs; as, hy and hy^ 
upside dovm^ now and then. 

Adverbs consisting of two or more words united may 
be regarded as compound adverbs; as, someJioWy helter- 
skelter, topsy-turvy. 

Far, farther, farthest, relate to distance, and may be 


used either as adjectives; as, " It is farther to Asia than 
to Europe;" or as adverbs; as, "I have gone farther 
than you." 

Forth, further, farthest, are used when meaning " some- 
thing additional ;" as, " I have nothing further to say ;" 
"Are there any further arguments to be offered?" 

Errors in the Use of Adverbs. 

Most men dream, but all do not [not all do], —Beattie, 

By hasty composition we shall acquire certainly [certainly 
acquire] a very bad style. — Blair. 

We have often occasion [often have occasion] to speak of time. 
— Lowth. 

Whether it can be proved or no [not] is not the thing. — But- 
ler^s Analogy. 

Can I make men live whether they will or no [not] ? — Shake- 

Which is scarce [scarcely] possible at least. — Sheridan^s Elo- 

What need is there that I should say anything farther 
[further] on this question? — Popular Lecturer. 

Shall we have any farther [further] discussion? — Superintend' 
ent's Address. 

They will, too, not merely interest [interest not merely] the 
children, but (also) grown-up persons. — Westminster Review, 

Homer was not only the maker [the maker not only] of a 
nation, but (also) of a language and of a religion. — Athe^ 

We were only permitted to stop for refreshments [permitted to 
stop for refreshments only] once by the way, so that without 
the provision of cold fowl, bread, and wafers, which we only 
happened to think of [happened to think of only] the moment 
before setting out, our situation would have been somewhat 
deplorable. — Mrs. Ellis : Summer and Winter in the Pyrenees, 

The result is not pleasant to us only [pleasant to us not only] 
because it fulfills our predictions, but (also) because any other 
would have been productive of infinite mischief. — Spectator, 


We seldom or ever [if ever] see those forsaken who trust in 
God. — Aiterbury, 

In considering the life of Seneca we are not only deeding 
[dealing not only] with a life which was rich in memorable 
incidents, but also (with) the life of one who climbed the lofti- 
est peaks of the moral philosophy of Paganism. — Rev. F. Wi 
Farrary D. D. 


A Preposition is used to show the relation between 
some noun or pronoun following it and some preceding 
word which the preposition with its object modifies. 

When two prepositions used together express a single 
relation they may be considered one term, and be called 
a complex preposition ; as out of in the sentence " They 
came running out of the house." 

But is a preposition when it is used in the sense of 
except; as, "All but him have come." 

In such expressions as had set in, were looked for, etc., 
the preposition becomes part of the verb; had set in 
means "had commenced," and were looked for, "were 

A preposition ending a sentence without an object 
becomes an adverb; as, "Come in;" "Come on.^^ 

After like, near, nigh, and opposite, the preposition is 
usually omitted.. 

The preposition is also sometimes omitted after verbs 
of giving, procuring, and a few others ; as, " Get ( ) me 
a book ;" " Give . ( ) me some help ;" " Teach ( ) me 
the way." 

The preposition is omitted also before nouns dcnotinjj; 
time, value, or measure; as, "We talked ( ) an hour;" 
" The book is worth ( ) a dollar ;" " We. had walked 
( ) ten miles." 



In exclamatory sentences the antecedent is frequently 
omitted ; as, " Oh, for a home !*' That is, " Oh, I long 
for a home!" 

A preposition should not be omitted except when 
such construction is sanctioned by good usage. Thus, 
" We fled the country," should be " We fled from the 

Care should be taken to use the proper preposition to 
exjMress the meaning intended. Certain words require 
the association with them of certain prepositions. 

The following are some of the most important com- 
binations : 

Abatement of. 

Abhorrence of. 

Abhorrent io. 

Abide in or at & place, with 
a person, by & decision or an 

Abound in that which is pos- 
sessed, with that which follows 
or inhabits. 

Absolve from. 

Accede to. 

Accommodate a thing to, a 
person with. 

Accompanied by persons or 
animals, with things inani- 

Accord toith (intransitive), to 

Accountable to a per8on,'/or 
a thing. 

Accuse of 

Acquaint with. 

Acquiesce in. 

Acquit of 

Adapted to a thing, for a 
purpose, yrom a production. 

Adjourn to a place, at an 
hour, from one place or hour 
to another. 

Admission to (access), into 

Advantage over a person, of 

Advice to a person, of a trans- 

Advise of 

Advocate of a cause, for a 

Affinity of sounds or colors, 
for a person, between persons. 

Agree to proposals, with a 
person, upon something deter- 

Agreeable to. 

Allied to a cause, with a per- 

Alter from one thing, to an-" 



Analogy between two objects, 
to or with another. 

Angry at a thing, with a per- 

Answer to a person, for an 

Antagonism between two 
things, to or against a thing. 

Anxious /or success, about 
one*s welfare. 

Apologize for an affront, to 

Appoint to a place, over oth- 

Argue i(7tYA a person, against 
a project. 

Array vfith arguments, in col- 
ors or dress. 

Arrive a£ a place, in a vehi- 
cle, from a place. 

Ask of a person, /or what is 
wanted, after one's health. 

Aspire to a thing, o/K&r an 
abstraction, as immortality. 

Attend to (listen), attend 
upon (wait). 

Averse to. 

Banish from a place to an- 

Bargain vnth a person, /or a 

Bestow on or t^/>07i. 

Betray to a person, into a 

Bind to a person, by a bond. 

Blush at a sight, /or anoth- 
er's conduct. 

Boast qf. 

Border on, or upon. 

Bound for. 

Call at a place, on a per8on,/or 
a person or a thing, in question, 
by name, to or after a person. 

Care for, about. 

Careful of our possessions, 
about our conduct. 

Charge on an enemy, with a 
crime, against a person, to one's 

Clear o/" harm, from guilt. 

Communicate to a person, 
mth others. 

Compare icith in quality, to 
for illustration. 

Comply with. 

Complain against a person, 
of actions. 

Concede to. 

Concur with a person, in an 

Condemned /or a crime, to a 

Confer on or t^|>on a measure, 
tvith (to consult), t^joon (to give 
as a favor). 

Confide in (to trust in). 

Confide to (to entrust with). 

Conform to; in conformity 
with; conformable to. 

Congratulate on or upon. 

Connect vnth an equal, to a 

Connive ?(;tVA a person, a>t a 

Consist of (composed of), 
consist in (comprised in). 



Contend with a person, against 
an obstacle,/or a right or a prin- 

Contradictory of. 

Controversy with a person, 
between two, about matters. 

Convenient for persons, to 

Conversant with. 

Convert to a doctrine, into 
something else. 

Copy after actions, from 
things, out of a book. 

Correspond with (by letter), 
to similars. 

Covered with or by. 

Debar /row entrance,©/* priv- 

Defend others /row, ourselves 

Depend, dependent, on or 

Derogatory to: 

Desirous of. 

Devolve on or upon. 

Die ofdi disease, /rcww hunger 
or thirst, by violence or an in- 
strument, for another. 

Differ with a person in opin- 
ion, from a person in qualities 
or characteristics, about or con- 
cerning a question, among (to 

Different from. 

Diminution of. 

Disagree in opinion, to some- 
thing proposed. 

Disappointed of something 

not obtained, in something ob- 
tained which fails to meet our 

Discriminate one from an- 
other, between two. 

Disgusted with a person, at, 
with, or by a thing. 

Disqualified for a position, 
from holding office. 

Dissent from. 

Distinguish /row another, be- 
tween two. 

Divest of. 

Divide between two, among 
several, with others. 

Dwell in a house or a city, at 
a place, on a street or a farm. 

Embark at a place, in busi- 
ness, /or profit or a place. 

Embellished by an artist^ 
with or by engravings. 

Emulous of. 

Enamored of. 

Encroach on, upon. 

Equivalent to. 

Expel from, out of. 

Expert at when followed by 
a noun, in when followed by a 

Expose to loss or danger, for 

Familiar to me, I am famil- 
iar with. 

Favored by a person, vdth 

Fight toith another, against 
foes, for a principle. 

Followed by. 



Founded in truth, or upon 
a basis. 

Free from. 

Frown at a person, on con- 

Frugal of. 

Glad of something gained, 
of OT at what befalls another. 

Graduate at or from an insti- 
tution, in a class. 

Grateful to a person, for a 

Ill of 

Illustrated by an artist, with 
or by cuts. 

Impatient with a person, a^ 
his conduct, of restraint, un- 
der misfortune, fw something 

Incorporate with (to com- 
bine), into (to take into). 

Incumbent on, upon. 

Independent of 

Indulge with a single thing 
or act, in something habitual. 

Inquire of the person asked, 
after or about the subject of in- 
quiry, into when search is made 
for particular knowledge. 

Insensible to. 

Inseparable from. 

Insist on, upon. 

Introduce to a person, into a 

Involve in. 

Jealous of. 

Join to something greater, 
wUh something equal. 

Killed by an enemy, \oith an 

Lean on or against a support, 
to an opinion. 

Live at a village or a for- 
eign city, in a city or the coun- 

Long after, for. 

Marry to. 

Martyr for or to a cause, to a 

Need of. 

Notice of. 

Observance of. 

Opinion on, about. 

Part fr(mi persons, with be- 

Pay for something, to a per- 
son, m^A money. 

Placed in, on. 

Preferable to. 

Prevail on, upon, or with (to 
persuade), against (to over- 

Profit by. 

Pronounce against a person, 
on a thing. 

Protect others/ro?»,*ourselve8 

Provide for, against, with. 

Put into, in (place). 

Reconciled with a person, to 
a condition. 

Eeduce to a state, under sub- 

Regret for. 

Rejoice with a person, at or 
in good news. 



BelieTe from restraint or 
anxiety, of property. 

Rely on^ upon. 

Remedy /or, against 

Remonstrate with a person, 
against a proceeding. 

Resemblance to each other, 
between two. 

Reside at a village, in a city 
or the country. 

Restrain from. 

Rid of 

Search for or after a person, 
into particulars, oiU the truth. 

Seized by an enemy, with ill- 

Smile on or upon favorably, 
at unfavorably. 

Speak to an audience, to or 
with a person, on or about a 

Strive with a person, for an 
object, against an obstacle. 

Struggle with an adversary, 
for an object desired. 

Suspected of a fault, fcy a 

Suitable to one's station, /or 
a purpose. 

Swerve from. 

Sympathize vnth a person, in 
one's sorrow. 

Think of on, about. 

Thirst for, after. 

Trust in (to have confidence 
in), to (to depend on). 

Unite to (transitive), with 

Useful to a person, for a pur- 

Unworthy of. 

Yestin a person, with a thing. 

Vexed with a person, at con- 

Wait on a person (to serve), 
at a table, for what is expected. 

Errors in the Use of Prepositions. 

Based in [on] the great self-evident truths of liberty and 
equality. — Scholar's Manual. 

Looked at in [from] this point of view, we cannot refuse to 
regard them as organisms of some peculiar and amazing kind. 
— Smiles. 

I think it must have been to [from] some such primitive ex- 
planation of the whooping-cough that there has grown up in 
Austria the unique custom of treating that disease by adminis- 
tering the rod. — M. D, Conway: Francis May, 

He has not been averse from [to] a moderate quantity of 
good, sound, fruity port. — G. A. Sala, 

Politics, as he makes even Demosthenes admit, are [is] the 


sad refuge of restless minds, &Yer»e/rom [to] business and from 
[to] study. — Leslie Stephen, 

This brings to my mind another instance of the same nature, 
where our English poet, by not attending to the peculiar expres- 
sion of his author, has given us a picture of a very different kind 
than [from] what Homer intended. — Fitz Osborne. 

The seventeenth century evidently had a different notion of 
books and women than [from] that which flourishes in the nine- 
teenth. — Pall MaU Gazette, 


Gocjunctions are used to connect either words, 
phrases, or sentences. 

Care must be taken, however, that they connect like 
parts ; thus, a word with a word, a phrase with a phrase, 
or a clause with a clause ; and in connecting words, the 
words must be of the same parts of speech, a verb with 
a verb, an adjective with an adjective, etc. ; but a noun 
may be connected with a pronoun. 

Elements of equal rank are connected by what are 
known as coordinate conjunctions, and, aho, but, yet, 

A modifying clause is connected with the principal 
clause by means of a eyubordinate conjunction ; as, " He 
will attend, that he may learn." 

A modifying clause may be connected with the prin- 
cipal clause also by a relative pronoun or by a conjunc- 
tive adverb. 

The subordinate clause alwa^'s modifies some word or 
words in the principal clause. 

Sometimes conjunctions, or conjunctions with other 
parts of speech, are used in pairs to mark the sense 
more clearly. These pairs are known as correlatives. 


The chief correlatives are — 

Both .... and : ^^ Both teacher and pupils were tired." 

Either . . . . or : ** Nouns are either common or proper." 

Neither .... nor: "Men are neither wholly good nor 
wholly bad." 

"Whether .... or :" I care not whether you go or stay." 

If ... . then : " If this be treason, then make the most 
of it." 

Thougrh .... yet : " Though deep, yet clear," 

Such (adj.) .... that (conj.), to express a consequence : 
"His conduct was such that all will see the wrong." 

As (adv.) .... as (conj.), to express equality: "My chances 
are as good as yours." 

As (conj.) .... so (adv.), to express equality: "-4« the 
teacher is, so is the school." 

So (adv.) .... as (conj.), to deny equality; "You are not 
so young a« you were." 

So (adv.) .... as (conj.), to express a comparison: "How 
can you be so base as to lie?" 

So (adv.) .... that (conj.), to express a consequence: "/Sb 
live that you may be fearless of consequences." 

So (adv.) .... as (adv.), with an infinitive following, to 
express a consequence : " We ought so to read a« to make our- 
selves distinctly understood." 

Not only .... but (conj.), when the latter term of com- 
parison includes the former: ^^ Not only Pennsylvania but the 
whole nation is interested in this question." 

Not only .... but also (conj!), or but even (conj.), 
when the latter term of comparison does not include the for- 
mer: ^^ Not only Pennsylvania but also Delaware is west of the 
Delaware river;" ^^ Not only the children but even the teachers 
were frightened." 

When several words are taken together to form a con- 
junction, the combination is known as a complex con- 

The principal complex conjunctions are — 


as if, 

but also, 

but likewise, 

as well as, 

but even, 

even though, 

forasmuch as, 

but that, 

except that. 

inasmuch as, 

The conjunction that is sometimes used merely to in" 
troduce a subordinate clause which is made the subject 
of the sentence ; as, " That you have been deceived, is 
very clear." 

The conjunction as is often used to unite words that 
are in apposition ; as, " His work as a teacher was satis- 
factory ;" " He offered himself as clerk ;^^ "This gentleman 
as my friend will protect me." 

The expression as follow is used by many where the 
antecedent is a noun in the plural number; thus, "His 
words are as follow." — Spectator. In such sentences the 
meaning probably is "as they follow;" or if as is re- 
garded as a relative pronoun, it may be taken in the 
plural, and the word follow properly agree with it in the 
plural. Many writers, however, claim that the singular 
verb should be used, and the expression read " as fol- 
lows," meaning as it follows. 

Occasionally the conjunction that is understood ; aSy 
"The truth is (that) w^e have been badly treated." 

After than or a«, when connecting the terms of a com- 
parison, there is usually an ellipsis of some word or 
words; as, "He is older than I (am)." 

The sentence, " He gave me more than you," shows 
the necessity of supplying the omitted words to make 
the sentence clear, as it may mean " He gave me more 
than he gave you," or " He gave me more than you gave 


As to the expression "than whom," Lennie^s Gram- 
mar, 1830, says, " When who immediately follows than, 
it is used improperly in the objective case ; as, * Alfred, 


than whom a greater king never reigned ;' — than whom is 
not grammatical. It ought to be than who, because who 
is in the nominative to was understood. It is true that 
some of our best writers have used other phrases which 
We have rejected as ungrammatical; then why not reject 
this too?" Why not? 

Professor Fowler, an authority of note, says with re- 
gard to the expression, " Satan, than whom none higher 
sat," that it should be " Satan, than who none higher 

When two terms connected are to be completed in 
sense by a third, they must be so expressed as to make 
sense with it. Thus, " He has made changes and addi- 
tions to his house," should be " He haa made changes 
in his house and additions to it." 

Two terms connected by a conjunction should be the 
same in kind or quality rather than different.* Thus, 
"The help was prompt and cheerfully given," should be 
"The help was prompt and cheerful," or " The help was 
prompt, and it was cheerfully given." 

After also, other, otherwise, rather, and other English 
comparatives, the latter term of an exclusive compari- 
son should be introduced by the conjunction than, 
Thusi " There were no others than these ;" " His speech 
was nothing else than deception." 

Relative pronouns being connectives, they exclude con- 
junctions, unless there are two or more relative clauses 
to be connected. The following sentence is faulty: 
" The principal and distinguishing excellence of Virgil, 
and which he possesses beyond all poets, is tenderness." 
It should read, " The principal and distinguishing ex- 
cellence of Virgil, an excellence which he possesses 
beyond all other poets, is tenderness." 

After expressions denoting doubt, fear, or denial, that 


should be used instead of but, but thaty or lest; as, "I 
doubt not that you will succeed." 

It is correct to use the words but also only where the 
words but in addition could be substituted. 

Errors in the use of the proper correlative of not only 
are frequent even with reputable writers. 

Errors in the XTse of Conjunctions. 

I have and pretend to be a tolerable judge. — Shakespeare, 

He was more beloved but not so much admired as Cintbio. — 

The Court of Chancery frequently nytigates, and breaks the 
teeth of the common law. — Spectator, 

Antony, coming alongside of her ship, entered it without 
seeing or being seen by her. — Goldsmith^ s Greece, 

Composition is excellent, and (it is] the vital principle in all 
these things. — Dr, Lieber, 

To have [having] only one time, or measure, is not much 
better than having none at all. — Blair, 

Facts too well known and (too) obvious to be insisted on. — 

I cannot doubt but that [that] these objects are really what 
they appear to be. — Kamei^ Elements of Criticism, 
We've both the field and honor won ; 
The foe is profligate, and (he has) run. — Budibras, 

I question not but [that] my reader will be pleased with it. — 

I doubt not but [that] such objections as these will be made. 
— Locke, 

The terms rich or [and] poor enter not into their language. — 
Bobertson^s America, 

There being no other dictator here but [than] use. — Oamp' 
beWs Rhetoric, 

Many of Lord Jeffrey's reviews are little else but [than] 
special pleading. — Tuckerman, 

I have no doubt but that [that] the pistol is a relic of the 
buccaneers. — W, Irving, 


Their relation, therefore, is not otherwise to be ascertained 
but [than] by their place. — CampbeWs Rhetoric, 

There is no other method of teaching that of which one is 
ignorant but [than] by means of something already known. — 
2>r. Johnson. 

O fairest flower, no sooner blown but [than] blasted. — Milton. 
As if religion were intended 
For nothing else but [than] to be mended. — Hudibras. 

About the time of Solon, the Athenian legislator, the custom 
is said to have been introduced, and which still prevails, of writ- 
ing in lines from left to right, — Jamieson^s Rhetoric. [Change 
to '^The custom of writing in lines from left to right, which still 
prevails, is said to have.been introduced."] 

Conversation w^ith such who [as] know no arts which polish 
life. — Spectator. 

For the torrent of the voice left neither time or [nor] power 
in the organs to shape the words properly. — Sheridan^a Elocu- 

Its influence is likely to be considerable in the morals and 
(in the) taste of a nation. — Blair*s Rhetoric 

Whether the subject be of the real or (the) figurative kind. — 

Bruce spoke of himself and his compeers as being neither 
Scottish or [nor] English, but Norman barons. — Scott. 

It is perhaps the finest of all Juvenal's satires, the mightiest, 
the sternest, and (the) most deeply impressed, not merely by a 
sense [by a sense not merely] of bitterness, but (also) of the 
deep responsibility of life. — Westminster Review, 

The author has sat at the feet of our Elizabethan dramatists, 
and in one or two places has caught not merely [has not merely 
caught] their idioms and phrases, but has (also) become imbued 
with something of their manner of spirit. — Idem, 

Homer was not only the maker of a tuition [the maker not only 
of a nation], but (also) of a language and of a religion. — Athe- 

The result is not pleasant to us only [pleasant to us not only] 
because it fulfills our predictions, but (also) because any other 
would have been productive of infinite mischief, — Spectator. 


. Its almost vulgar personality may convey to those who are 
neither acquainted [acquainted neither] with the writer or [nor 
with] his books. — Quarterly Review, 

The hardship is that in these times we can neither speak of 
kings or queens [speak neither of kings nor of queens] without 
suspicion of politics or personalities. — Byron, 

But he was neither fitted [fitted neither] by abilities nor by 
disposition to answer the wishes of his mother.— ifm Austen, 

Taking the Thackeray gallery as a whole, we cannot admit 
thai either in qualities of [that in qualities of either] head or 
heart his women are inferior to the women we generally meet. 
— North British Review, 

The engraving is neither like [like neither] me nor the pic- 
ture. — Miss Mitford, 

Neither our vices or [nor] our virtues are all our own. — Dr, 

This is consistent neither with logic nor (with) history, — The 

Whilst they are learning and apply [applying] themselves 
with attention, they are to be kept in a good humor. — Locke, 

He firmly refused to make use of any other voice but [than] 
his own. — Goldsmith's Greece, 

Your marching regiments. Sir, will not make the guards their 
example, either as soldiers or (as) subjects. — Junius, 

Words used as Different Parts of Speech. 

It is a well settled principle of Grammar that use 
determines the classification of a word. 

The following are some of the most important words 
whose classification varies according to the use of the 
word : 

As is a conjunction when it means since or because; 
thus, "^« he was ambitious, I slew him." 

It is an adverb when it represents time, degree, or 
manner ; as, " He came as soon as he could ;" " I fared 
as well as I expected." 




It is a conjunctive adverb when it introduces a subor- 
dinate clause; as, "They went out as we came in." 

Before, After, Till, Until, are advei'hs^ or rather conjunc- 
tive adverbs^ when they introduce subordinate clauses ; 
as, " Think before you speak ;" " They came after we had 
gone." " We waited until the meeting closed." 

They are prepositions when used to show relation, and 
they should be followed by a noun or a pronoun in the 
objective case; as, "We stood before him;" "The dog 
ran after the rabbit ;" " The storm delayed us till night." 

Both may be either an adjective or a conjunction. 

1. It is an adjective when it is used to limit a noun ; 
as, ^^ Both men earned their wages." 

2. It is a conjunction when it is used with and to con- 
nect sentences or parts of sentences; as, "They were 
both tired and hungry." 

But may be a preposition, an adverb, or a conjunc- 

1. It is a preposition when it means except; as, 
"Whence all but him had fled." 

2. It is an adverb when it means only ; as, " I have 
made the trip but once." 

3. It is a conjunction when it connects sentences or 
parts of sentences ; as, " It is not he but you that are 
to blame." 

But implies some opposition or exception. Yet and 
however are nearly equivalent, but are milder in their 
application. Nevertheless, while having a meaning sim- 
ilar to but, is a much stronger term. 

Either and Neither are used as pronominal adjectives 
and as conjunctions. 

1. They are used as pronominal adjectives when they 
limit or represent nouns ; as/^ Neither man answered;" 
'[Either boy may help." 


2. They are conjunctions when they assist in connect- 
ing sentences; as, ^^ Either you or your brothers should 
come;" ^^ Neither the man nor his son was here." 

The proper correlative of either is or^ and of neither^ 

As adjectives, either and neither are in use limited to 
two. When more than two are referred to, any one or 
none should be made to take the place of either or 
neither. Thus, we say ^^ Either of the two," but '^ Any 
one, of the five;" so also, ^^ Neither of the two;" but 
^^None of the three." 

Either as an adjective may imply " each of two ;" as, 
"A farm on either side of the railroad;" that is, two * 
farms, one on each side of the railroad. " A farm on 
both sides of the railroad" means one fiirm through 
which the railroad passes. 

As conjunctions, either and neither may be used with 
any number; as, ^^ Neither man, woman, nor child was 
spared from an attack of the dread disease." 

For may be either a conjunction or a preposition. 

1. It is a conjunction when it means because, or is used 
in giving a reason ; as, " Let us return, for it is getting 

2. It is a preposition when it is followed by a noun or 
a pronoun in the objective case; as, "He bought the 
book for me." 

The three words, for, becmisej and since, are to some 
extent interchangeable. BecauM means "by the cause 
of," and had originally a reference to physical cause. 
It is now used chiefly to express a reason, especially in 
answer to why. Since is less formal than " because," and 
in its conjunctive sense is usually placed at the begin- 
ning of a sentence. The difference in the words is il- 
lustrated in the following sentences : " We will not go 


becariM the day is too cold." ^^ Since the day is so cold, 
we will not go." 

Like may be used as a noun, as a verb, ob an adjec- 
tive, and as a conjunctive adverb. 

1. It is a noun when it is used as a name ; as, " Like 
begets like;'^ " We shall never look upon his like again." 

2. It is a verb when it expresses action ; as, " I like the 
music ;" " I like order." 

3. It is an adjective when it modifies a noun, or when 
it compares objects ; as, " The girl is like her mother." 

4. It is a conjunctive adverb when it compares actions 
or connects clauses ; as, " She sings like an angel ;" " He 
fights like a tiger." 

Since may be a conjunction, a preposition, or an 

1. It is a conjunction when it means for the reason that; 
as, ^^ Since you wish it, I will remain." 

2. It is a preposition when it is followed by a noun in 
the objective case denoting time ; as, " We have had no 
rain since June." 

3. It is an adverb in all other cases. 

That may be a conjunction, a relative pronoun, or a 
pronominal adjective. 

1. It is a conjunction when it is used to introduce a 
subordinate clause or connect sentences ; as, " I believe 
that we shall succeed ;" " That we shall succeed is cer- 

2. It is a relative pronoun when it is used instead of 
"who" or "which;" as, "This is the first one that 

3. It is a pronominal adjective when it limits or rep- 
resents a noun ; as, " That knife is mine ;" " That is 
my knife." 

Then may be used as a conjunction or as an adverb. 


1. It is used as a conjunction when it means "there- 
fore" or "in that case;" as, "If this be treason, then 
make the most of it." 

2. It is an adverb when it denotes time ; as, " It was 
then too late to correct the mistake." 

What may be a relative pronoun, an interrogative 
pronoun, a pronominal adjective, an adverb, or an in- 

1. It is a relative pronoun when " that which " or 
" those which " may be substituted ; as, " We know 
what he wished to say." 

2. It is an interrogative pronoun when it is used to 
ask a question; as, ^^What have you brought?" 

3. It is a pronominal adjective when it limits a noun ; 
as, ^^What beautiful flowers these are!" 

4. It is an adverb when it means " partly ;" as, " What 
by threats and what by stratagem we succeeded." 

6. It is an interjection when used to express surprise ; 
as, ^^ What I Shall we give up without a contest?" 

Sometimes what is used both as a pronominal adjec- 
tive and as a relative pronoun, when it limits a noun 
and at the same time " that which " or " those which " 
may be substituted for it ; as, " What money we had was 

Well may be a noun, a verb, an adjective, an adverb, 
or an interjection. 

1. It is a noun when it denotes an object; as, "The 
well is deep." 

2. It is a verb when it expresses action; as, "The 
water wells out from under the rocks." 

3. It is an adjective when it is used to limit a noun or 
a pronoun ; as, " The boy is tvelV^ 

4. It is an adverb when it limits a verb; as, "That was 
well done." 


6. It is an interjection when used as an exclamation ; 
as, ^'Well, well! This is an important affair." 

Well as an adverb is sometimes used independently to 
introduce a sentence ; as, " Well, shall we start?" 

While may be a noun, a verb, or an adverb. 

1. It is a noun when it means a portidn of time; as, 
"Let us sit here for a while.^^ 

2. It is a verb when it means to " spend " or " pass ;" 
as, "We fished to while away the time." 

3. It is a conjunctive adverb when it means during the 
time in which, or is used to connect clauses ; as, " They 
were attentive while the teacher spoke." 

Yet may be either a conjunction or an adverb. 

1. It is a conjunction when it means n£vertheles8 or not- 
mthstanding; as, " Though he slay me, yet will I trust in 

2. It is an adverb when it means thxis far, in addition, 
or at the present time; as, "We have not yet completed 
our work." 


Punctuation treats of the use of points in dividing 
written composition. It is essentially a grammatical 

The chief use of punctuation is to divide discourse 
into sentences, and sentences into parts, in such a man- 
ner as will best show the relation of these parts to one 

Usage differs somewhat among authors of good repute 
with regard to the use of some of the marks of punctua- 
tion, but that is more the fault of the authors than of 
the system, and it ought not to be quoted as an argu- 
ment against punctuation. 

There is of course much left to individual judgment, 
just as there is in determining the meaning of a sen- 
tence, but it is equally true that the punctuation of a 
sentence frequently determines its meaning. 

The chief marks of punctuation are — 

1. The Period ( . ) 

2. The Comma ( , ) 

3. The Semicolon ( ; ) 

4. The Colon (:) 

5. The Interrogation Point (?) 

6. The Exclamation Point ( I ) 

7. The Dash (— ) 

8. Marks of Parenthesis ( ) 

9. Quotation Marks ( " " ) 

10. The Hyphen (-) 



In addition to these there are a few other marks used 
by writers and printers, which will be explained far- 
ther on. 

The Period. 

The Period was the first punctuation mark intro- 
duced, and was used originally to indicate the comple- 
tion of a sentence. 

The following are the chief rules for the use of the 
Period : 

1. Complete Sentences. — A 'period should he placed 
after every declarative or imperative sentence. 

When long compound sentences are broken up into 
shorter ones, each of these shorter sentences should be 
followed by a period. 

Sometimes a conjunction, as and or but, is used to 
introduce a sentence, but it has no efifect on the punc- 
tuation. A familiar example is — 

" And Moses spake unto the children of Israel.'' 

2. Abbreviations. — A period should be placed after every 
abbreviated vx/rd. 

Some abbreviated words consist of initials only, as 
U. S. Grant for Ulysses Simpson Grant. In such cases 
the period should follow each initial. 

Letters are sometimes used in mathematics to indi- 
cate angles, lines, etc. These are not abbreviations, and 
they take no period after them. We speak of them as 
the angle A, the angle A BC, or the line C D, but in no 
case where so used do they require a period. 

Sometimes letters are used also to represent fictitious 
persons in the statement of mathematical problems ; as, 
" Mr. A bought a farm," etc. In such cases no period is 


When the Roman numerals are used to denote num- 
bers, a period is usually placed after the combination ; 
as, Geo. III., Chap. XVI., A. D., MDCLII., though it 
may be remarked that some late writers omit the 

When letters are doubled to indicate the plural, as 11. 
for lines, pp. for pages, MM. for Messieurs, LL. for legum, 
only one period is placed after the abbreviation. 

When the abbreviated word closes the sentence, but 
one period is used. Thus, *'Our neighbor is James 
Hodgson, M. D." 

When the abbreviations represent separate words, a 
period follows each ; as. Post Master, P. M., Doctor of 
Medicine, M. D., Master of Arts, A. M., Doctor of Laws, 

When abbreviated words become current as abridged 
words in good use, as cab for cabriolet, consols for consol- 
idated annuities, no period is required after them. 

When an abbreviated name becomes a nickname, as 
Ben, Dan, Will, Sue, no period is used. 

Ordinal adjectives, as 2d, 3d, 4th, 6th, etc., are not 
abbreviations, but substituted forms for second, third, 
fourth, sixth, etc. No period therefore should be placed 
after them. 

Note that 2d, 3d, and all words ending with these 
forms, as 22d, 23d, 42d, 43d, etc., end with d only, not 
nd or rd. 

3. Complete Expressions. — A period should be placed 
after each Heading, Title, Signature, Imprint, or Advertise^ 
ment, when the expression is complete in itself. 

The title-page of a book usually consists of three 
parts: 1. The name of the book; 2. The name of the 
author, with his professional titles appended ; 3. The 
name of the publisher, with the place of publication. 


Each of these parts should be followed by a period. A 
practice has lately become fashionable to omit periods 
altogether from title-pages, but it is wholly without lit- 
erary autliority. 

4. Numbers of Paragraphs. — A 'period should follow 
each figure or letter indicating the number of the paragraph, 
the sentence^ or the particidar heading. Thus, 

Some of the chief marks of punctuation are — 

1. The Period, 

2. The Comma, 

3. The Semicolon. 

Thb Comma. 

The Comma is used to mark the least degree of sep- 
aration in the divisions of a sentence. The words comma, 
semicolon, and colon were originally used to denote the 
portion of the sentence cut off rather than the mark. 

The following are the chief rules for the use of the 
Comma : 

1. Coi^ipound Sentences. — A comma is used to sepa- 
rate the members of a compound sentence when the degree of 
separation is slight. Thus, 

" There was an abundance of game, but we had no gun." 

2. Relative Clauses. — Relative clauses which are ex- 
planatory or which present an additional thought are set 
off by commas, but when such a clause is restrictive it is not 
separated from the chief clause by a comma, 

A restrictive clause is one that limits its antecedent to 
some particular meaning, while a non-restrictive clause 
is equivalent to an additional thought. Thus, in the 
sentence, "The man who is industrious will succeed," 
the clause " who is industrious " is restrictive, the sen- 
tence being equivalent to " The industrious man will sue- 


ceed." In the sentence, " Mr. Sharp, who is an industrious 
nian, will succeed," the clause in italics simply adds an 
additional thought with regard to Mr. Sharp, and it is 
therefore non-restrictive. It may be dropped from the 
sentence without destroying the sense of the principal 
clause; thus, "Mr. Sharp will succeed." 

In the sentence, "The man who is industrious will 
succeed," the restrictive clause limits the meaning not 
only to " man," but to a particular man, " The man who 
is industrious." 

If several words intervene between a relative pro- 
noun and its grammatical antecedent, a comma should 
be placed before the relative clause. Thus, 

" He will be most likely to win success, who is most faithful." 

If a relative pronoun is followed by a word or a 
phrase enclosed by commas, a comma should be placed 
before the relative clause even when this clause is re- 
strictive. Thus, 

" They, who, notwithstanding the fact that they were stran- 
gers, defended us, merited our gratitude." 

When the relative has for its antecedent several nouns 
or clauses in succession, it should be separated from the 
last by a comma, even though the relative be restrictive. 

"There were present laborers, merchants, and professional 
men, who doubted the arguments of the speaker." 

If the comma were omitted after the word "men," the 
sentence could be construed to mean that only the pro- 
fessional men doubted. 

3. Dependent Clauses. — Dependent clauses are uMtally 
set off by commas, especially when they precede independent 
clauses. Thus, 

" If you wish to win, you must struggle." 



A dependent clause is one that modifies or completes 
the meaning of another clause. It is usually introduced 
by some coordinate conjunction or a conjunctive adverb, 
and it often precedes the clause on which it depends. 

When the dependent clause follows that on which it 
depends, in many cases it is not set oflf by a comma; as, 
" We will remain if you do not object." 

When the dependent clause follows that on which it 
depends, and is introduced by " that," it is not set oflf 
by. a comma unless "that" is equivalent to "in order 
that," and is placed at some distance from the verb. 

a. " I believe that it will rain." 

b, '' I 8hall listen to his arguments, that I may come to a con- 
clusion for myself." 

4. Parenthetical Expressions. — Parenthetical words 
and phrases should be set off by cornnms. 

Expressions are parenthetical when they are placed 
between the related parts of a sentence, but are not 
strictly essential to its meaning. 

The following are among the expressions commonly 
used parenthetically: 













After all, 
as it were, 
as it happens, 
beyond question, 
for the most part, 
generally speaking, 
in the first place, 

in fact, 
in short, 
in a word, 
in truth, 
in general, 
no doubt, 
of course. 

in the mean time, 
now and then, 
in reality, 
on the contrary, 
on the other hand, 
without doubt, 
you know. 

When one of these parenthetical expressions occurs 


at the beginning or at the end of a sentence, only a 
single comma is used to separate the expression from 
the main part of the sentence. 

When any of these same expressions are used to 
modify some particular part of the sentence, they lose 
their parenthetical character, and are no longer set oflF 
by commas. Observe the use of the word however in 
the following: 

a, '* You will, however, be late." 

b, " However, you will be late." 

c, " He will do the work however late he may be." 

Some words, known variously as expletives, inde- 
pendent adverbs, etc., as iww^ why, weU, yes, no, again, 
first, secondly, further, etc., when they stand at the begin- 
ning of a sentence, are set off by commas. Thus, 

" First, let me make a statement." 
" Well, we are ready to go." 
" Why, that I cannot answer." 

When now and then or here and there are used to in- 
troduce contrasted expressions, they are set off by com- 
mas. Thus, 

" Now, all is peace ; then, all was disorder." 

5. Intermediate Expressions. — Clauses and other ex- 
pressions not of a pare^ithetical character, but so placed as 
to come between the essenticd parts of a sentence, are set off 
by commas. Thus, 

" Man, even in his lowest estate, is a noble work." 

In general, commas may set off any of these interme- 
diate expressions when they can be removed without 
destroying the sense of the sentence. Thus, in the sen- 
tence, " Physical exercise, especially in the open air, is 
of great importance to healthj" the expression **espe- 


cially in the open air" may be removed, and the 
remainder, "Physical exercise is of great importance 
to health," still conveys the chief thought without any 

6. Transposed Elements. — Transposed phrases and 
clauses are usually set off hy commas. Thus, 

** Of the many odd people I have encountered, he was the 

A comma is placed after a surname when it precedes 
the Christijm name; as, Lindsey, George W.; Barker, 

This arrangement of names is frequently made in 
alphabetical order in lists and indexes for convenience 
of reference. 

When in transposed elements the connection is very 
close, the comma may be omitted; as, "At noon we 
started on our journey." 

7. Series. — In a series of more than two words, all being 
the same part of speech, a comm/i should follow each word of 
the series. Thus, 

"The air, the earth, the water, teem with life." 

When the conjunction is omitted between the last two 
words of a series, a comma is placed after the last unless 
it is followed by a single word; as, "Teacher, pupils, 
friends, have gone." 

When the conjunction is omitted between all except 
the last two words of the series, a comma is usually put 
before the conjunction, but some writers omit it. The 
following is the usual form : " Days, months, and years 
have fled." 

When the words in a series are connected by con- 



junctions the comma may be omitted ; as, " Days and 
months and years have fled." 

In some cases where a greater pause than usual is 
desired, both conjunctions and commas are used; as, 
" They suffered, and fought, and died, in their country's 

In such expressions as "A beautiful little rose," no 
comma is used to separate the adjectives, for the reason 
that the first adjective seems to modify all that follows ; 
but where the successive adjectives all modify the noun 
with equal force, they are separated by commas, as in 
the following: "A hard-working, faithful, honest old 

8. Words in Pcdrs. — When words are used in pairs a 
comma shovld be placed after each pair. Thus, 

** Houses and lands, offices and honors, gold and bonds, are 
nothing to the man at Death's door." 

9. Words in Apposition. — Words in apposition, Uh 
gether with their adjuncts, are set off by commas. Thus, 

" Milton, the author of * Paradise Lost,' was blind." 
Pres. James McCosh, D. D., LL.D. 

When the noun in apposition stands alone or has 
only an article before it, no comma is required between 
it and the word with which it is in apposition. Thus, 

"Paul the apostle ;" " The poet Whittier." 

When several words contain a description of some 
person or thing, if the name be mentioned it should be 
set off from the rest of th* sentence by a comma ; as, 
" The greatest of poets. Homer, was blind." 

10. Words in the Vocative. — Nouns in the Nomina- 
tive Case Independent by address, with their accompanying 


words, are separated from the rest of the sentence by commas. 

** GentlemeD, are you ready to hear me?" 
" I am, my dear Sir, your friend." 

This rule is applicable to the salutation in a letter. 

^^^-^ ar€i^i^e^^ 


^'ttei> ^€id 'dee^ 4.ecei^^u^c^. 


Whatever the salutation, it seems proper to place a 
comma after the title on the ground that the title, with 
its modifying adjectives, is in the nominative case inde- 
pendent by address. 

When the body of a letter begins on the same line as 
the salutation, the comma is followed by a dash. Thus, 


11. The Absolute Oonstniction. — A word placed in 
the Nominative Case Absolvie is, with its accompanying 


w&rda^ separated from the rest of the sentence by a comma. 
" Peace having been declared, the army was disbanded." 

12. Omission of the Verb. — When in a compound 
sentencb the verb is omitted in any of the members foUomng 
the first, a comma takes its place. Thus, 

" Homer was the greater genius ; Virgil, the better artist." 

13. Logical Subject. — When the logical or complex 
subject of a sentence ends vnth a verb of the same form as 
the predicate verb, or consists of parts subdivided by commas, 
it is separated from the predicate by a comma ; as, 

" He who breaks, pays." 

" Bananas, oranges, and figs, are the chief exports." 

14. Quotations. — A quotation or anything resembling a 
jguotation, introduced into a sentence, should be preceded by a 
comma. Thus, 

" Bacon says, * Knowledge is power.' " 

" The question now is. Where shall we find a desirable site?" 

If the quotation depends directly on the word which 
precedes it, no comma is required. Thus, 
" The cry of 'Down with the traitors I' rang through the hall." 

15. Numeral Figures. — When any numbers except 
dates are expressed by more than three characters, they are 
separated by commas into groups of three, counting from the 
right. Thus, 

" The amount on hand is $16,437,842." 

16. Ambiguity. — A comma is sometimes used to prevent 

Thus, " I awoke and called my brother to me," with- 
out the comma means that I awoke my brother and 
called him to me. With the comma, "I awoke, and 


called my brother to me," means that I became awake 
and called my brother to me. 

The Semicolon. 

The Semicolon is used to separate parts of sentences 
less closely connected than those separated by commas. 
It is used also to separate the divisions when the subdi- 
visions are separated by commas. 

The following are the principal rules for the use of 
the Semicolon: 

1. Parts of Sentences. — A semicolon should he placed 
between the parts of a sentence ichen the subdivisions of these 
parts are separated by commas. Thus, 

" Without dividing, he destroyed party ; without corrupting, 
he made a venal age unanimous." 

When the members of a sentence are long, they are 
sometimes separated by a semicolon though no comma 
is used. Thus, 

" Errors like straws upon the surface flow ; 
He who would seek for pearls must dive below." 

Some writers would in the foregoing set off the expres- 
sion " like straws " with commas, but this is unnecessarv. 
The golden rule in punctuation is to use a punctuation 
mark only where there is a necessity for it in order to 
make the meaning clear. 

2. A General Term. — A general term having several 
particidars in apposition may be separated from the particu- 
lars by a semicolon. Thus, 

Nouns in English have three cases ; Nominative, Possessive, 
and Objective. 

3. Short Sentences. — Short sentences which have a 


alight dependence on one another as to meaning, are umally 
separated by semicolons. Thus, 

" Thete is good for the good ; there is virtue for the virtuous ; 
there is victory for the valiant ; there is spirituality for the spir- 

In the application of this rule usage differs somewhat. 
Some writers prefer the colon, and others the period, in- 
stead of the semicolon, but 'the best, usage favors the 

4. Successive Glauses. — A semicolon is used to sepa- 
rate several successive clauses in a complex sentence when they 
Juive a common dependence on a principal clause. Thus, 

" When my heart shall have ceased to throb ; when my life 
shall have passed away ; when my body shall have been con- 
signed to the tomb, — then shall all these things be remembered 
in my favor." 

Some writers prefer to separate the principal clause 
from the others by a. colon, and the others from one 
another by a comma and a dash. 

5. Additional Glauses. — An additional dause which 
assigns a reason, draws an inference, or presents a contrast, 
may be set off by a semicolon. Thus, 

" Straws float upon the surface ; but pearls lie at the bottom 
of the stream." 

When the additional clause follows without the use 
of a connecting word, some writers use a colon instead 
of a semicolon. 

Namely, for, but, yet, are some of the words com- 
monly used for connecting an additional clause to 
express a reason or a contrast. 

6. Before As. — A semicolon should be placed before " as " 
when U introduces an example. Thus, 


" A noun is a name ; as, boy, Henry." 

A semicolon is sometimes used before viz., to wit, L e., 
or that 18, when it precedes an example or an enumera- 
tion of particulars. 

7. Yes and No. — " Fes" or ^^no,^^ when forming j^art of 
an answer and followed by a proposition, is usually set off by 
a semicolon. Thus, 

"Yes; I think it will rain." 

When yes or no precedes a vocative expression, the 
semicolon follows the expression, and a comma follows 
yes or no. Thus, 

"No, my friends; I cannot endorse this platform." 

The Colon. 

The Colon is used to separate parts of sentences less 
closely connected than those separated by the semi- 

The following are the most important rules for the 
use of the Colon : 

1. Parts of Sentences. — A colon should be placed be-' 
tween the parts of sentences whose subdivisions are separated 
by semicolons. Thus, 

"The article contained two chief thoughts: the first, that 
the Argument was not sound ; the second, that it Vas not con- 

2. Additional Clauses. — An additional dause not for- 
mally connected with the preceding clause is set off from the 
latter by a colon. Thus, 

" Let others hail the rising sun : 
I bow to him whose course is run." 

This rule differs from Rule 5 with reference to the 


semicolon, chiefly in the omission of the conjunction 
which formally connects the clauses. 

3. Quotations. — Wlien a quotation is introduced, but 
not as the object of a transitive verb, it sJioidd be preceded by 
a colon. Thus, 

" For of all sad words of tongue or pen, 
The saddest are these : * It might have been.' " 

When a quotation follows such transitive verbs as say, 
exclaim, reply, skout, cry, and similar verbs, as the direct 
object, it should be preceded by a comma instead of a 
colon. Thus, 

" The speaker said, * Gentlemen, I am glad to meet you on 
this occasion.' " 

4. Formal Introduction. — A colon is placed after such 
expressions as " this,^^ " these,^^ " as follows,^^ " the foUowing,'^^ 
and similar terms, when they promise or introduce somethingy 
whether a quotation or not. Thus, 

" His words were as follows : ' Poor work, poor pay.' " 

6. Title-Pages. — In a titk-page, when an explanatory ex- 
pression is put in apposition with the main title, without the 
use of a conjunction, the two are separated by a colon. Thus, 

" Helps in the Use of Good English : a Manual for All who 
Desire to Speak or Write Correct English." 

The iNTBRRoaATioN Point. 

The Interrogration Point is used to show that a ques- 
tion is asked. 

The following are the chief rules for the use of the 
Interrogation Point : 

1. Questions. — An interrogation point should be^placed 
after every direct question. 


A direct question is one that admits of an answer; as, 
"Why do you not go?" An indirect question is one 
that is merely spoken of; as, " He asked why you did 
not go." 

When several questions are thrown together to form 
one sentence, tlie sentence begins with a capital letter, 
but an interrogation point should follow each question. 

''What is the meaning of all this noise? of all this confu- 
sion ?" 

When, in a series of consecutive questions, each is 
distinct in itself, each should begin with a capital letter 
and each be followed by an interrogation point. ThiJs, 

"Does the applicant use profane language?" ^."Does he 
smoke?" "Does he idle away his time?" 

When the question is not complete till the end of the 
sentence is reached, only one interrogation point should 
be used. Thus, 

" Which season do you prefer, summer or winter?" 

2. Doubt. — The interrogation point is sometimes inserted 
in curves to throw doubt on a statement Thus, 

"His sound (?) logic was not convincing." 

The Exclamation Point. 

The Exclamation Point is used chiefly to indicate 
some emotion. 

The following are the chief rules for the use of the 
Exclamation Point: 

1. Inteijections. — The exclamation point is placed after 
an interjection when it sJiotos strong emotion. Thus, 

" Hurrah I we have won the game." 


When the emotion expressed belongs to the whole 
phrase or sentence, the exclamation point is usually 
placed after the entire expression, rather than after the 
interjection; as, "Shame upon yovir actions!" 

When an interjection is repeated several times in suc- 
cession, the repeated words are separated by commas, 
and the exclamation point is placed after the last only ; 
as, " Well, well ! I am sorry for this." 

is not immediately followed by an exclamation 
point, but oh is so followed unless the emotion runs 
through the whole expression. In that case oh is fol- 
lowed by a comma, and an exclamation point is placed 
after the complete emotional expression. Thus, 

" Oh, long may it wave 
O'er the land of the free, and the home of the brave T' 

When the interjections eh and hey are used at the end 
of questions, they should be followed by interrogation 

2. Exclaniations. — An exclamation point should be 
placed after every exclamatory expression. Thus, 

" How very hot it is I" 

Glorious I Bravo !' shouted the captain." 

(( i 

More than one exclamation point may be used to 
express wonder, irony, contempt, or great surprise. 

" Trust to his honesty 1 1 A thief is honest in comparison." 

The exclamation point is sometimes used in the same 
manner as the interrogation point, to imply doubt. 

** Caesar was an honorable (I) man." 


The Dash. 

The Dash is used chiefly to indicate a sudden change 
in the sense or the construction of a sentence. 

The use of the dash for other punctuation marks is 
permissible only where none of the others can be cor- 
rectly used. The dash should not be used, as it is by 
many writers, as a substitute for other marks. 

The following are the chief rules for the use of the 
Dash : 

1. Sudden Ghangres. — A dash is used to mark some 
sudden change in the construction or in the sense of a sen- 
tence. Thus, 

'* He had no malice in his mind — 
No ruffles on his shirt." 

2. Parenthesis. — The dash is sometimes used to set off 
parenthetical expressions when the connection is not so close 
as to require a commn. Thus, 

"Those who hated him most heartily — and no man was hated 
more heartily — admitted that his mind was exceedingly bril- 

3. A Pause. — The dash is sometimes used to indicate a 
pause made for rhetorical effect. Thus, 

"It was admitted by all that the boy was quiet and well- 
behaved — when he was asleep." 

The dash is used also to denote an expressive pause. 

"The stream fell over a precipice — ^paused — fell — paused 
again — then darted down the valley." 

4. An Omission. — The dash is sometimes used to denote 
an omission. Thus, 

" Late in the summer of 18 — , the residents of were 


greatly agitated over a rumor that a railroad was to be built 
through the town." 
"See Chap. VI.: 1-5," meaning Chap. VI., verses 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. 

5. Summing-Up. — The dash is xised to denote a sum- 
ming-up of partlcalars. Thus, 

" Eelatives, friends, home, — all are gone." 

6. Repetition. — When a word or an expression is re- 
peated emphatically for rhetorical effect, the construction 
beginning anew^ a dash should be placed before each repeti- 
tion. Thus, 

" I wish," said Uncle Toby, with a deep sigh — " I wish, Trim, 
I were asleep." 

7. Reflex Apposition. — When words at the end of a 
sentence stand detached and are in apposition with preceding 
parts of a sentence, they are separated from the preceding 
portion by a dash. Thus, 

"Three of the world's greatest poems are epics — Paradise 
Lost, The ^neid, and The Iliad." 

8. Titles Run In. — When a title or a heading, instead 
of standing over a paragraph, is run in so as to make a part 
of the paragraph, it is separated from the rest of the line by 
a dash. For illustration see the heading of this rule. 

9. Dialogues. — The parts of a conversation or a dia- 
logue, if run into one paragraph instead of forming separate 
paragraphs, are separated by dashes. Thus, 

"Good morning, Mr. Brooks." — "Good morning, Sir." — "I 
hope you are well." — "Thank you, I am very well; how are 
you ?" 

10. With Other Marks. — A dash is often placed after 
other marks to add effect. 

The following are the chief instances : 


a. After a side-head. Thus, 
" Remark 1.— " 

b. Between the end of a paragraph and the name of 
the author if both are placed on the same line. Thus, 

" Procrastination is the thief of time." — Young, 

c. Between short quotations brought together in the 
same line, as in example under Rule 9. 

Marks of Parenthesis. 
The Curves, or Marks of Parenthesis, are used to 
enclose such words as break the unity of a sentence and 
have little, if any, connection with the remaining part 
of it. Thus, 

" To gain a posthumous reputation is to save four or five let- 
ters (for what is a name beside) from oblivion." 

The sentence containing marks of parenthesis is punc- 
tuated as if no parenthetical part were included. 

Whatever point may be needed is placed after the last 
curve, unless some other mark precedes the last curve, 
in which case the point is placed before the first curve. 

a. "Pride, in some disguise or other (often a secret to the 
proud man himself), is the most ordinary spring of action 
among men." 

b. " While we all desire fame, (and should we not desire it ?) 
we should do nothing unfair to gain it." 

The part within the curves is punctuated according to 
the usual rules, just as if no curves were used. 

Quotation Marks. 

A quotation is the introduction into one's discourse of 
words uttered or written by some one else. 


Quotation Marks are two inverted commas at the 
beginning, and two apostrophes at the close, of the part 

The following are the rules for the use of Quotation 
Marks : 

1. Direct Quotations. — Qxwtation marks are used to 
enclose a direct quotation. Thus, 

Everett says, " If we retrench the wages of the schoolmaster, 
we must raise those of the recruiting sergeant." 

When other words occur between the parts of the 
quoted expression, only the quoted words are enclosed 
by the marks. Thus, 

" We can overcome the difficulty," said the speaker, "by per- 
sistent effort." 

^ When the quotation is not direct, no quotation marks 
are needed. Observe the following : 

a. Bacon said, " Knowledge is power." 
h. Bacon said that knowledge is power. 

2. A Quotation within a Quotation. — When one 
quotation is included vrithin another j the included quotation 
is enclosed with single quotation marks. Thus, 

These were Longfellow's words : 

" Life is real, life is earnest ; 
And the grave is not the goal ; 
* Dust thou art, to dust return est,' 
Was not spoken of the soul." 

If a quotation included within a quotation contains 
another included quotation, the latter is enclosed in 
double quotation marks. Thus, 

I found the following: "Some one has said, * What a world 
of wisdom is contained in the poet's words, " The grave is not 
the goal." ' " 


Notice that the number of quotation marks at the end 

must balance those which begin the quotations. 

3. Quoted Paragrraphs. — When a number of quoted 
paragraphs come in sicccession, the inverted commas precede 
each paragraph, but the closing quotation marks follow the 
last paragraph only. 

When a quotation is made, the quotation marks 
should enclose the usual punctuation marks as well as 
the words. 

Observe the difference in the following : 

a. His remark was, *' Why did you not go?" 

b. Was his remark, " Must you go " or " Will you go " ? 

The first sentence embraces a quoted question; the 
second is a question itself, and therefore is followed by 
an interrogation point. 

Examples for illustration are sometimes enclosed iA 
quotation marks. Thus, 

The word " in " is sometimes an adverb. 

The Hyphen. 

The chief uses of the hyphen will be found discussed 
in connection with the subject of Syllabication, pp. 30-34. 

Other Marks. 

The following are the most important of the other 
marks used in written and printed discourse. Most of 
them are used only by printers and proof-readers. 

Brackets [ ] are used to enclose some word or words 
necessary to correct an error or afford an explanation ; as, 

" They [the Puritans] came direct from Holland." 

Brackets are sometimes used in dictionaries and works 


on language to enclose the pronunciation or the etymol- 
ogy of a word ; as, Belles Lettres [bel let'r]. 

Brackets are used also in dialogues, dramas, etc., to 
enclose instructions to the actors. 

The Aposlrophe ['] is used to indicate the omission 
of letters or figures — 

1. To form contractions ; as, doesnH for does not, don't 
for do not, isn^t for is not, e'er for ever, oW for over, etc. 

2. To form plurals; as, 6's, +'s, S's, instead of 6es, 
+es, Ses. 

3. To indicate the possessive form of a noun; as, 
king% queen'^s, widow^s, etc., the old forms having been 
kyngis, queenis, widdowes, etc. 

4. To indicate the century figures in the case of dates; 
as, '97 for 1897. 

The Ellipsis, [* * *], [ ], [ ], is used to show 

that letters or words have been omitted ; as. President 
C— — d, for President Cleveland, or Mrs. G***n, for 
Mrs. Green. 

The Section [§] denotes the smaller divisions of a 
book or a chapter. 

The Paragraph [f], now rarely used, denotes the 
beginning of a new paragraph or a new subject. 

The Caret [ a ] is used in writing to show that some- 

thing is to be inserted ; as," Mr. Gry will remain with us 

a week." ^ 

The Caret should always be placed below the line and 
the correction immediately above it. 

The Index [a^"] is us^d to point out something 

The Brace [}] is used to connect two or more terms 

with another term; as, Pupils i v,?*^^'' -' 

.... . . CGirls, 27. 


The Ditto Mark ["] is used to indicate that the words 
above it are to be repeated ; as, 

2 pr. Shoes, @ $2.50 $5.00 

6 " " @ 3.00 18.00 

It is not correct to use the ditto mark to indicate the 

repetition of the names of persons. The following is 

incorrect : 

Mary S. Evans, 
Susan B. " 
Samuel S. Miles, 
" G. Conser. 

The name in either case should be written in full. 

The Cedilla [9], used in printing, and placed under 
the letter c, gives that letter the sound of «, as in fa9ade. 

The Tilde ["^J, placed over the letter n, shows that the 
n is equivalent to n and y, as in cafion [canyon]. 

The Diaeresis ["], placed over the second of two suc- 
cessive similar vowels, shows that they belong to diiOfer- 
ent syllables, as in " zoology," " coordinate." 

The Ma.cron [~], placed over a vowel, shows that the 
vowel has the long sound ; as, " ale," " fire." 

The Breve ["^], placed over a vowel, shows that the 
vowel has the short sound; as, "&t," "fit." 

The Asterisk [*], the Dagrgrer [f], the Double Dag- 
ger [J], the Section [§], the Parallels [||], and the Par- 
agraph [^], are generally used to refer to marginal 
notes. Sometimes figures and letters of the alphabet 
are used for the same purpose. 

Leaders are dots used tb carry the eye from the 
words at the beginning of the line to something at 
the end of it. Thus, : 

Spelling page 44 

Syllabication "83 


Book Notes. 

The Title-page of a book is that page of the book 
which contains the title. It is usually the first page. 

Runningr Titles, or Headlines, are placed at the tops 
of the successive pages, and are used to show the name 
of the book, the subject treated of on the page, or both. . 

Captions, or Sub-he€uis, are headings placed over 
chapters or sections; they stand in the body of the 
page, not at the top. 

Side-heads are titles run into the line or made a part 
of it. 

A Frontispiece is a picture placed opposite the title- 
page, and facing it. 

A Vignette is a small picture, not occupying a full 
page, but placed among other matter either on the title- 
page or in some other part of the book. 

In preparing manuscript for printing, one line ( ^ 

should be drawn under such words as are to be put 
in italics; two lines ( . ) under such as are to be 
printed in small capitals; and three lines ( ) 

under such as are to be printed in LARGE CAPI- 
TALS. A waved line (^^^.^x^^) is placed under words 
that are to be printed in bold-feoed type. 

Italics should be used sparingly. Inexperienced writ- 
ers generally use underscored words too freely to indicate 
emphatic words. 

Leads are thin plates of type-metal by which lines are 
spaced apart. Matter spaced in this way is said to be 

Composing, as a part of the printer's work, is setting 
up the type. The work itself is called composition. 

The quantity of printed matter is counted by ems. 
An cm is the square of the body of the type used. 




Dr. Holmes ha/ been likened to Thomas ^ 
-£0? hood, but there is little in common between 

them, save the powein/ of combining fancy ^ 
€ I and senUfment with grotesque drollery and 

humor. Hood under all his whims and . / 

ea I oddities, concaels the vehement inten sity ^ 
of a reformer. The iron of the ^orld's /, c. 
wrongs has entered into his soul. There 
S isan undertone of sorrow in his lyrics. His 

X sarcasm directed against oppression and big- ^^ 
otry, at times betrays the earnestness of one 
whose -ewft- withers have been wrung. <yfe/. 

D . Holmes writes for simply the amusement of /4, 


himself and his readers. 


I He deals only with the vanities, the foi- 
bles, and the minor faults of mankind, good. / - / 
naturedly and almost sympathizingly sug- 
uf./. gesting excuses ft/r folly/ which he tosses j j 
about on the horns of ridicule/ Long may q 
om, he live to make broader the face of our care- 
ridden generation, and to realize for himself 

the truth of the wise mans declaration that i/^ 

" A merry heart is a continual feast." 

J. G. Whittier. 




^ is a mark showing an inverted letter. 

^ (Dele) means take away. 

X indicates a broken letter. 

-^ directs less space between words. 

^^ over oe and ae indicates that they are to be printed oe or se. 

Jf indicates that a space is needed where a caret, A> ^ P"^ 

O directs that all space be taken out. 
I indicates that a space stands up. 

[ sho^vs that a word or a line is to be moved toward the face of the 
bracket, whichever way turned. 

^ denotes that a new paragraph is to be made. 

placed under letters or words erased indicate that they are to 

be restored. The word Stet is placed in the margin. 

tr. Transpose words or letters. Sometimes the letters are written 
correctly in the margin instead of using tr, 

w.f. shows that the type is of the wrong font, too large or too 

Lc, (lower case) directs that a small letter be substituted for the 
capital letter used. 

A, the caret, is used to denote where an inserted correction is to be 

D shows that the word before which it is placed should be set in. 

JRom, means change to Roman letters. 

Ilcd. means change to Italic letters. 

(/ shows where an apostrophe, quotation marks, or references, as 
indicated in the margin, should be placed. 

No Tf or No break shows that a new paragraph is not to be made. 

When a query is made on the proof-sheet, if the anthm* desires 
the correction to be made, he erases the (?) or Qy, If he does not 
wish the change made, he erases both the Qy. and the correction. 

When several words have been left QUt, they may be written at the 
bottom of the page, and a line be drawn from them to the caret indi- 
cating the omission. 


Sizes of Books. 

The terms 8vo, 12mo, 16mo, 24mo, etc., indicate the 
number of leaves into which a printed sheet is folded. 

A book is called a Folio when the sheets on which it 
is printed are folded so as to make two leaves. 

In a QuartOj or 4to, each sheet makes four leaves. 

In an Octavo, or 8vo, a sheet makes eight leaves ; in 
a Duodecimo, or 12mo, twelve leaves, and so on. 

Inasmuch as sheets of printing paper now vary in 
size, the terms octavo, duodecimo, etc., do not indicate 
definitely the size of the printed page. 


A LETTER consists properly of the following parts : 

1. The Heading, 

2. The Introduction, 

3. The Body, 

4. The Conclusion, 

5. The Superscription. 

The mechanical part of a letter should receive due 
attention. The appearance of a letter sometimes exer- 
cises more influence than the sentiment which it con- 
tains. This is especially true of letters of courtesy. 

The Hbading. 

The Headingr of a letter consists of the name of the 
place at which the letter was written and the date when 
it was written. 

When a letter is written from a large city, the first 
line of the heading should include the door-number, 
the name of the street, and the names of the city and 
the state. The date should occupy the second line. 

When one does not care to have his residence known, 
or is not permanently located, the number of the post- 


office box may be given instead of the door-number. 


In a letter written from the country, or fit>m a village 
or a small town, the county as well as the state should 
be mentioned. Thus, 

If the letter be written from a school or a prominent 
hotel, the name of the institution or the hotel may oc- 
cupy the first line of the heading, in which case the 
heading may occupy three lines, as follows: 


Figures are employed only for the door-number, the 
day of the month, the year, and the number of the post- 
office box. 

When the heading is short, it usually occupies but 
one line. Thus, 

^jci^cud^ei.^ 0^€i., Q^^jf^. y, -/<r^^. 


When the heading occupies more than one line, each 
line should begin a little farther to the right than the 
preceding line, as in the foregoing examples. 

The first line should begin a little to the left of the 
middle of the page. 

Every important part of the heading should begin 
with a capital letter. 

A period should follow every abbreviation, and the 
parts should be separated by commas. A period should 
be placed also at the end of the heading. 

The Date consists of the month, the day of the month, 
and the year. The day of the month is separated from 
the year by a comma. 

In writing the date, either the cardinal or the ordinal 
form may be used. Thus, 

jSt4^ // "^^77/ or ^^^ /-^ ^^77- 

Should the ordinal forms be used, no period must be 
placed after them, as they are not abbreviations. 

By some writers the date is placed at the close of the 
letter. In such cases it begins near the left edge of the 
page, and on the line below that on which the signature 
is placed. In such cases, also, the name of the person to 
whom the letter is written must appear in the introduc- 

Business-men sometimes use figures to denote the 
number of the month; as, 4/6/'96, for April 6, 1896; 
but this is permissible only in business letters. 

The Introduction. 

The Introduction consists of the formal address and 
the salutation. 
The formal address varies with the style of the letter. 


It consists of the namje^ the tUUy and the pld^ of bumiess 
or the residence of the person addressed. 

In some cases the name and the title alone are used 
in the address. While this is not objectionable in social 
letters, it is not the best form for business letters, as 
there would be no way of ascertaining the ownership 
of the letter in case it were lost or mislaid without the 

Titles should not be omitted, but they should be used 
sparingly. It is usually sufficient to use the most prom- 
inent title of the person addressed. 

The Address may occupy one, two, or three lines, each 
line followed by a comma, until the address is complete, 
when it should be closed with a period. 

The name of the person addressed should be written 
plainly and in full. 

Titles are prefixed as follows : 

Mr, to a gentleman's name; 

Messrs, (for Messieurs) to the names of several gentle- 
men addressed in the same letter ; 

Master to the name of a boy ; 

Miss to the name of an unmarried lady ; 

Misses to the names of several unmarried ladies ad- 
dressed in the same letter; 

Mrs. (mistress) to the name of a married lady or a 
widow ; 

Mesdames (ma dam') to the names of several married 
ladies or wudows addressed in the same letter; 

Dr, (plural Drs.) to the name of a physician ; 

Eev. (plural Revs.) to the name of a clergyman, or 
Rev, Mr, if his Christian name is unknown to you; 

Rev. Dr.\, or Rev, , D. D,, if the clergyman is 

a doctor of divinity. 

Only one title of courtesy should be affixed to a 


name. Thus, it would be incorrect to write "Mr. 
George Johnson, Esq.," both titles meaning popularly 
the same thing. 

In the case of married ladies, however, it is correct, 
according to the best usage, to affix the title of cour- 
tesy iffrs., and at the same time the honorary or profes- 
sional title of her husband; as, Mrs. General Grant, 
Mrs. Dr. Bush. * 

Two or more literary or professional titles may be 
used with the same name, provided none of them in- 
clude any of the others. In such cases they should be 
written in the order of their importance, which is prob- 
ably the order in which they were conferred, using the 
highest title last. Thus, " W. H. Hodson, A. M., Ph. D." 

In addressing a person, it is not necessary to use all 
his titles if there are more than one. John P. Smith, 
LL.D., or Dr. John P. Smith, is quite as expressive on 
an envelope as John P. Smith, A. M., Ph. D., LL.D. 

The place of bimness or residence, sometimes called the 
inside address, should give the name of the person's 
post-office and the state in which it is situated. Thus, 


If the post-office be in a city of considerable size, the 
door-number and also the name of the street should be 
given. Thus, 


The Salutation. — ^The complimentary salutation va- 
ries with the degree of formality of the letter or the 
position occupied by the persons addressed. 

Strangers are addressed as Sir^ Madam^ Rev, Sir, Gen- 
eral, etc., though the first two of these should be avoided 
as far as possible as being too stiff and formal. 

Acquaintances may be addressed as Dear Sir, Dear Mor 
dam, Dear Miss Clark, etc., and the same forms are used 
generally in social and in business correspondence. 

Friends are usually addressed as Dear Friend, Dear Alice, 
Friend Johnson, My dear Friend, etc. 

Near Relatives and other close friends are usually ad- 
dressed as My dear Daughter, My dear Child, My dear 
Mary, etc. 

When addressing a firm, consisting of several persons, 
the term Sirs or Dear Sirs, or the word Gentlemen, may be 
used as the salutation. 

Never use Dr. as an abbreviation of Dear, or Gents, for 
Gentlemen; neither is correct. 

A military or a naval officer is saluted by his official 
title, as Captain, Major, Commodore, or by the title Sir. 

A Governor is addressed as Governor, His Excellency, or Sir, 

The President is addressed as His Excellency, or as 
President . 

A married lady or an elderly unmarried lady is ad- 
dressed in business letters as Madam, Dear Madam, or 
My dear Madam, 

In addressing a young unmarried lady, the salutation 
is by some omitted. Thus, 


'UCiO. '^ 'C'njf(</i,^3^ ^aU'y «^. 


This form is used to avoid the repetition of the word 
"Miss." It would seem better, however, to address 
young unmarried ladies by the same term. Madam, as 
the married, inasmuch as the word "Miss," preceding 
the name, shows that the lady is unmarried. 

There is no objection to the following form : 

€iu4. ^(e^^^i. -ojc '^e^t.^e^tc^'uy,^ 'C^c^. 

The address is usually placed in the next line after 
the heading, or the next line but one. It should begin 
at the left side of the page near the margin, and when it 
occupies more than one line each line should begin a 
little farther to the right than the one preceding. 

Sometimes the address is placed at the bottom of the 
letter, beginning on the line next below the signature, 
but at the left side of the page, in the same position as 
if written before the body of the letter. 

The salutation should follow the address on the next 
line below, and should be followed by a comma because 
the noun is in the ^Nominative Case Independent b}*' 

When the address consists of but one line, the saluta- 
tion should begin about an inch to the right of the mar- 
ginal line. Thus, 

When the address consists of two lines, the salutation 
should begin about an inch farther to the right than the 


beginning of the second line of the address, but it may 
begin under the beginning of the first line. Thus, 

When the address consists of three lines, the saluta- 
tion should begin under the first letter or figure of the 
second line, but it may begin under the first letter of 
the first line. Thus, 

A 6 St Q^^d^ad^ C^ue., 

When there is no address preceding the salutation, 
the latter should begin at the marginal line. Thus, . 

Note the following cautions : 

1. Separate the parts of the address by commas, and 
place a period at the close of the address. 



2. Begin every important word of the address with a 
capital letter. 

3. Begin the first word and every noun in the saluta- 
tion with a capital letter. 

4. Place a comma after the salutation unless the body 
of the letter begins on the same line, in which case place 
a comma and a dash after the salutation. 

5. Do not begin any two successive lines of the head- 
ing, the introduction, the conclusion, or the superscrip- 
tion of a letter, at the same vertical line. 

The Body op the Letter 

The Body of a letter is that which contains what 
is communicated from the writer to the person ad- 

When the introduction consists of three lines or less, 
the body of the letter should begin on the next line 
below, the first word beginning a little to the right of 
the first word of the preceding line. Thus, 


i^fd -U^^C^t -Cd €9^ ^€144,€/^ e/uo. 

When the introduction consists of more than three 
lines, the body of the letter may begin on the same line 
as the salutation. In this case a dash should follow the 
comma after the salutation. Thus, 


The body of a letter should vary in style and length 
according to its character. The language should be nat- 
ural, and not stilted or florid. The penmanship should 
be neat and legible, devoid of flourishes, erasures, blots, 
interlineations, crosslines, and everything else that will 
detract from its neatness or from ease in reading it. 

Business letters should be short, omitting nothing that 
is necessary, and avoiding all repetitions and unneces- 
sary explanations. 

The body of a letter should continue on the succeed- 
ing pages in their regular order, b^inning with the first. 

The Oonclusion. 

The Concltifilon of a letter consists of the compliment' 
ary dose and the signature. 

The forms of the complimentary close vary according 
to the relations of the writer and the person addressed, 
but they should always harmonize with the salutation. 
Thus, Yours truly and Truly yours may be used with Dear 
Sir or Dear Madanty or be confined to business letters. 
Sincerely 'yours denotes a greater degree of friendship. 
Cordially yours is a still stronger expression. To begin 
a letter with My dear Friend and close it with Yours 
respectfully, or Yours truly, would be a serious blunder. 
A letter beginning with My dear Friend would require 


some degree of aflTection to be expressed in the compli- 
mentary close ; as, Your devoted friend, Faithfully yours, 
or Affectionately yours. 

Official letters close in a more formal manner. A 
common form is the following: 

d — 

Or the following : 

cJk @^ 


These forms, however, frequently take as substitutes 
" Yours respectfully " or " Very respectfully." 
Note the following cautions : 

1. Never close a letter with the form " Yours, etc." 

2. In closing a letter begin each line of the compli- 
mentary close with a capital letter, but do not begin the 
other words with capitals. Instead of writing Yours Very 
Truly J or Your Devoted Friend, write Yours very tndy, Your 
devoted friend. 

The Signature. — ^The Signature, consisting of the name 
of the person who writes the letter, should be placed^t* 


the bottom of the letter, immediately following the com- 
plimentary cloee. 

In letters of importance the writer's name should be 
signed in full. 

A letter which by accident or otherwise goes astray is 
sent to the Dead Letter Office, where it is opened and 
returned to the writer if it contains his name and ad- 

The signature should be plainly written. The writer 
should remember that while he or his friends may be 
able to recognize his signature, however poorly written, 
he has no right to puzzle others with his illegible writ- 

In writing to a stranger or an inferior, it is proper for 
a lady to sign her name with her title prefixed. Thus, 

Or, /cJf&i^J C^e:ce ^. ©^^i7^, 

A married woman may use her husband's name and 
initials. Thus, 

A widow should use her own name and initials. Thus, 

The Superscription. 

The Superscription, or address on the envelope, con- 
sists of the name of the person to whom the letter is 
written, together with his proper title and post-oflBce 


Care should be taken to make this address plain, that 
the letter may not be miscarried or lost. It is said that 
millions of letters are sent every 3'ear to the Dead Let- 
ter Office, many of them because poorly or improperly 

A proper address gives the title, the name, the post- 
office, the county, and the state. 

All the words in the superscription except prepositions 
and articles should begin with capital letters. 

A period should follow every abbreviation, and one 
should be placed at the end of the complete address. 

A comma should follow each line to separate the parts 
of the address. Thus, 


Letters addressed to a city may omit the county, but 
they should have the door-number and the name of the 
street, or the number of the post-office box. 

The practice of writing the superscription in any other 
than £r horizontal direction is not in good taste. 

The superscription should begin near the middle of 
the envelope vertically, and usually near the left edge. 
The other lines should begin each a little farther to the 
right than its predecessor, so that the name of the state 
comes near the lower right-hand corner. 

When a person's official designation is given in full, it 
forms the second line of the superscription. 

Care must be taken to write the abbreviations of the 


names of the states distinctly. Pcl and VcLj Penn. and 
Tenn,j N. Y. and K J., are those which are most likely to 
be confounded. 

When the name of the county is written in the lower 
left-hand corner of the envelope, it should be followed 
by a comma, as it is fully as much a part of the address 
as if placed immediately above the name of the state. 

Invitations and BsaBBTs. 

An Invitation is a formal note of courtesy. Invita- 
tions are usually written in the third person, and when 
so written the answer also must be in the third person. 

Answers to invitations are either Acceptances or Regrets, 

An acceptance is an afl&rmative answer; a regret is a 
formal note which explains a non-acceptance. 

Many invitations contain the letters R. S. V. P. at the 
close. These are the initials of Bespondez a^U vovs plaity 
meaning, " Answer, if you please." 

Most invitations do not need an answer if the person 
intends to accept. A failure to reply is understood to 
be an acceptance. 

An invitation to dinner or tea, however, requires a 
prompt answer of either acceptance or regrets. 

Answers to invitations to weddings, balls, receptions, 
etc., should be sent not later than the third day after 
receiving the invitation. • 

The answer to an invitation should be acknowledged 
and addressed to the person in whose name the invita- 
tion is given. If given by a lady and a gentleman to- 
gether, it should be acknowledged to both, but be 
addressed on the envelope to the lady. 

A regret should always state, at least in general terms, 
the reason why the person invited cannot accept, and 
this statement should be as brief as possible. 


One may regret that " a previous engagement," " in- 
tended absence," " sickness in the family," or some sim- 
ilar reason prevents acceptance. 

Abbreviations are not in good taste in invitations, 
acceptances, or regrets. Initials may, however, be used. 
Thus, we may write Mr. and Mrs. G. G. Adams, but not 
Mr. and Mrs. Geo, G. Adams. 

Hints on Letter -WRirma. 

Letters of introduction are usually delivered in per- 
son. They should, therefore, be left unsealed. If they 
are to be delivered personally, the name of the person 
to be introduced may be written on the lower left-hand 
corner of the envelope, somewhat like the following: 

Introducing Mr. Geo, JT, Fox. 

All favors or courteous attentions that require ac- 
knowledgment should be acknowledged promptly. 

Letters about one's own affairs, when requiring an 
answer, should contain a postage stamp or a stamped 
envelope for return postage. 

When one has been on a visit to a friend living at 
some distance, he should, on returning home, write at 
once of his safe arrival and of his appreciation of the 
hospitality he enjoyed. 

Social letters should never be written on foolscap 
paper or half sheets. 

One should sign his full name in writing to a 

A note written in the third person should never have 
the writer's signature attached. 

In replying to a note written in the first person it is 
considered highly impolite for the one who replies to 
use the third person. 




It is not good taste for a writer to prefix his title to 
his name in putting his signature to a letter. 

A letter of introduction, if sent by mail, should be 
sealed, and contain the card of the person introduced. 

Never write an anonymous letter. 

Important Abbreviations. 

The following is a list of the most important abbre- 
viations used in printing: 

A. A. 8., Fellow of the Amer- 
ican Academy of Arts and 

A. B. or B. A., Bachelor of 

A. B. C. F. M., American Board 
of Commissioners for For- 
eign Missions. 

Acct., Account. 

A. D., In the year of our Lord. 

ad lib. {ad libitum), at pleasure. 

Adjt., Adjutant. 

Adjt. Gen., Adjutant General. 

-^t. or set., of age, aged. 

Ala., Alabama. 

Alex., Alexander. 

A. M., Before noon ; Master of 

And., Andrew. 

Anon., Anonymous. 

Ans., Answer. 

Arch., Archibald. 

Ark., Arkansas. 

Art., Article. 

Ar. Ter., Arizona Territory. 

Att*y Gen., Attorney General. 
., August ; Augustus. 

B. A., British America. 

Bart., Baronet. 

Bbl. or bbl., barrel, barrels. 

B. C, Before Christ. 

B. C. L., Bachelor of the Civil 

B. D., Bachelor of Divinity. 
Bds. or bds., Boards (bound 

Benj., Benjamin. 
B. M., Bachelor of Medicine. 
Bp., Bishop. 

Br. Co\(, British Columbia. 
Brig. Gen., Brigadier General. 
Bro., Brother; Bros., Brothers. 
B. S., Bachelor of Science ; 

Bachelor of Surgery, 
bu., bushel, bushels. 
Cal., California. 
Can., Canada. 
Cant., Canticles, or Song of 

Cap. (caput). Chapter. 
Caps., Capitals. 
Capt., Captain. 
Capt. Gen., Captain General. 
Cath., Catherine. 



C. B., Cape Breton ; Compan- 
ion of the Bath. 

C. E., Canada East ; Civil En- 

C. or Cent., Centigrade. 

Cf. (confer)^ Compare. 

C. H., Court-House. 

Chap., dhapter, Chapters. 

Chas.^ Charles. 

Chron., Chronicles. 

C. J., Chief Justice. 

Co., Company ; County. 

C. O. D., Collect on Delivery, 

Col., Colonel. 

Colo., Colorado. 

Com., Commander ; Commo- 

Conn., Connecticut. 

Cor., Corinthians. 

C. P., Common Pleas. 

ct, cent, cents. 

cu. fk., cubic feet 

cu. in., cubic inch, cubic inches. 

C. W., Canada West. 
cwt, hundred-weight, 
d., days ; pence. 
Dan., Daniel. 

D. C. (da capo). Repeat. 

D. C, District of Columbia. 

D. C. L., Doctor of Civil Law. 

D. D., Doctor of Divinity. 

Dec, December. 

dec, declination. 

deg., degree, degrees; 

Del., Delaware. 

Dele ( B ), Erase. 

Dist. Att'y, District Attorney. 

D. M., Doctor of Music. 

do. (ditto), the same. 
Dr., Debtor; Doctor. 
D. Sc, Doctor of Science. 

D. V. (Deo volente), God will- 

dwt, pennyweight. 
E., East 

Eccl., Ecclesiastes. 
Ed., Editor; Eds., Editors. 
Edm., Edmund. 
Edw., Edward. 

e. g. {exempli gratia), for exam- 

E. I., East Indies. 
Eiiz., Elizabeth. 
Eph., Epbraira. 

Esq., Esquire ; plur., Esqs. 

Esth., Esther. 

et al. (et alii), and others. 

et seq. (et sequentia), and fol- 

etc or &c. (et ccetera), and so 

Ex., Example ; Exodus. 

Exc, Exception. 

Ez., Ezra. 

Ezek., Ezekiel. 

F., Fahr., Fahrenheit. 

F. A. S., Fellow of the Anti- 
quarian Society. 

fath., fathom, fathoms. 
Feb., February. 
Fig., Figure, Figures. 
Fla., Florida. 
F. M., Field Marshal, 
fol., folio, folios. 
Fran., Francis. 
Fred., Frederic. 




ft., foot, feet. 

Ft., Fort. 

fur., furlong, furlongs, 

Ga., Georgia. 

Gal., GalatiaDS. 

gal., gallon, gallons. 

Gen., General ; Genesis. 

Geo., George. 

Gov., Governor. 

Gov. Gen., Governor General. 

gr., grain, grains. 

h., hour, hours. 

H. B. M., His or Her Britannic 

Heb., Hebrews, 
hhd., hogshead, hogsheads. 
H. M., His or Her Majesty. 
Hon., Honorable. 
H. R. H., His Royal Highness, 
ib. or ibid, (ibidem) y in the same 

id. (idem)^ the same. 
Id., Idaho, 
i. e. [id e8t)y that is. 
I. H. S. (Jesus hominum Salva- 

tor)y Jesus, the Savior of 

111., Illinois. 

incog, (incognito) y unknown. 
Ind., Indiana. 
Ind. Ter., Indian Territory. 
Insp. Gen., Inspector General, 
inst., instant, the present month, 
la., Iowa. 
f . O. O. F., Independent Order 

of Odd Fellows. 
Isa., Isaiah. 
Jac, Jacob. 

Jam., Jamaica. 

Jan., January. 

Jas., James. 

Jer., Jeremiah. 

Jona., Jonathan. 

Jos., Joseph. 

Josh., Joshua. 

J. P., Justice of the Peace. 

Jr. or Jun., Junior.. 

Jud., Judith. 

Judg., Judges. 

Kan., Kansas. 

Kt., Knight. 

Ky., Kentucky. 

L., £y or 1., pounds sterling. 

La., Louisiana. 

Lat., Latitude. 

lb. (libra) y pound or pounds, in 

L. C, Lower Canada. 

Lev., Leviticus. 

L. I., Long Island. 

Lib. (liber) y Book. 

Lieut., Lieutenant. 

Lieut. Col., Lieutenant Col* 

Lieut. Gen., Lieutenant G^en- 

Lieut. Gov., Lieutenant Gov- 

LL.B., Bachelor of Laws. 

LL.D., Doctor of Laws. 

Lon. or Long., Longitude. 

L. S. (locus sigilli)y place of the 

M. or Mons., Monsieur. 

M. {meridifis)y Noon, 

m., miles; meters, 



M. A., Master of Arts. 
Mad., Madam. 
Mag., Magazine. 
Maj. Gen., Major General. 
Mass., Massachusetts. 
Matt., Matthew. 
M. B., Bachelor of Medicine. 
M. C, Member of Congress. 
M. D., Doctor of Medicine. 
Md., Maryland. 
Me., Maine. 

Mem., Memorandum, Memo- 
Messrs., Messieurs, Gentlemen. 
Mgr., Monsignor. 
Mich., Michigan, 
min., minutes. 
Minn., Minnesota. 
Miss., Mississippi. 
Mile., Mademoiselle. 
MM., Messieurs, Gentlemen. 
Mme., Madame. 
Mo., Missouri, 
mo., month, months. 
Mons., Monsieur. 
M. P., Member of Parliament. 
Mr., Mister. 
Mrs., Mistress. 
MS., Manuscript. 
MSS., Manuscripts. 
Mt., Mount, Mountain. 
Mts., Mountains. 
Mont., Montana. 
Mus. B., Bachelor of Music. 
Mus. D., Doctor of Music. 
N., North. 

N. A., North America. 
Nath., Nathaniel. 

N. B. {nota bene), Mark well. 

N. B., New Brunswick. 

N. C, North Carolina. 

N. E., New England ; North- 

Neb., Nebraska. 

Nev., Nevada. 

N. F., Newfoundland. 

N. H., New Hampshire. 

N. J., New Jersey. 

N. M., New Mexico. 

N. O., New Orleans. 

No., Number ; Nos., Numbers. 

Nov., November. 

N. S., Nova Scotia. 

Num., Numbers. 

N. W., Northwest. 

N. Y., New York. 

O., Ohio. 

Oct., October. 

Ont., Ontario. 

Or., Oregon. 

oz., ounce, ounces. 

P. or p., page ; pp., pages. 

P. E. I., Prince Edward Island. 

Pa., Pennsylvania. 

Per ct., by the hundred. 

Ph. D., Doctor of Philosophy. 

Pinx. (Pinxit), He painted it. 

pk., peck, pecks. 

P. M., Postmaster. 

P. M. (post meridiem), after- 

P. O., Post-Office. 

Pop., Population. 

P. P. C. (pour prendre conge), to 
take leave. 

Pref., Preface. 



Pres., President. 
Prof., Professor. 
Pro tem. (pro tempore), for the 

time belDg. 
Prov., Proverbs, 
prox. {proximo), the next 

P. S. ( po»t scriphtm), Postscript. 
Ps., Psalm, Psalms, 
pt., pint, pints. 
qt., qnart, quarts. 
q. v. {^od vide), which see. 
Qy., Query. 
R., R. (Recipe), take, 
rd., rod, rods. 
Begt, Regiment. 
Rem., Remark, Remarks. 
Rep., Reports. 

Rev., Reverend ; Revelation. 
R. I., Rhode Island. 
R. N., Royal Navy. 
Rom., Romans. 
R. R., Railroad. 
Rt. Hon., Right Honorable. 
Rt. Rev., Right Reverend. 
B., South. 

8., seconds, shillings. 
8. A., South America. 
Sam., Samuel. 
S. C, South Carolina. 


a R, Southeast. 

sec, second, seconds. 

Sect., Section, Sections. 

Sept., September. 

Ser., Series. 

Serg., Sergeant. 

Serg. Maj., Sergeant Major. 

S. J., Society of Jesus. 
Sol., Solomon. 

Sol. Gen., Solicitor General, 
ap. gr., specific grayity. 
sq. ft, square foot or feet, 
sq. in., square inch or inches, 
sq. m., square mile or miles, 
sq. rd., square rod or rods, 
sq. yd., square yard or yards. 
SS. (scilicet), Namely. 
St., Saint ; Street ; Strait. 
Stat., Statute, Statutes. 
S. T. D. (Sancfce Theolo^ice Doc- 
tor), Doctor of Divinity. 
Stet, Let it stand. 
Supt., Superintendent. 
Surg. Gen., Surgeon General. 
Surv. Gfen., Surveyor General. 
S. W., Southwest. 
T., ton, tons ; tun, tuns. 
Tenn., Tennessee. 
Ter., Territory. 
Tex., Texas. 
Theo., Theodore. 
Theoph., Theophilos. 
Thos., Thomas. 
Tim., Timothy. 
Treas., Treasurer. 
U. C, Upper Canada, 
nit. (ultimo), the last month. 
U. S., United States. 
U. S. A., United States Army. 
U. S. M., United States Mail. 
U. S. N., United States Navy, 
vs. (versus), against. 
Va., Virginia. 
V. P., Vice-President 
vid. (vide), see. 



viz. [videlicet) y to wit, namely. 

Vol., Volume ; Vols., Volumes. 

Vt., Vermont. 

W., West. 

Wash., Washington. 

W. I., West Indies. 

Wis., Wisconsin. 

wk., week, weeks. 

Wm., William. 

Wy., Wyoming. 

W. Va., West Virginia. 

Xmas., Christmas. 

yd., yard, yards. 

y. or yr., year, years. 


Noun Synonyms. 

SYXoyrMs are words having neariy the same meaning, 
with shades of difference. The following are among the 
iliost prominent synonyms, in the conrect use of which 
the student of English should discriminate. 

Acceptance, acceptation. — Accepiance is " the act of 
acceptin<r,^ or ** favorahle reception," as the acceptance 
of an office. Acceptation is the sense in which a term is 
used ; as, *' In the present acceptation of the word." 

Ability, capacity. — Ability is one's power of doing. 
Capacity is the power of understanding, of acquiring, of 
containing. ^* The teacher has great ability as a mathe- 
matician." " The child's capacity is limited." 

Act, action. — An act is a deed or a result viewed in 
connection with the power or will of the doer. It is 
never used of things mechanical. It is the simple exer- 
tion of power preceded by volition. Action is the pro- 
cess of doing. Smithy in "Synonyms Discriminated," 
says, "The act denotes power; the action involves the 
mode in which the power is exercised. To speak gen- 
erally, a>cts are primarily physical, and secondarily 
moral; actions are primarily moral, and secondarily 
physical." An act is single; actions are continuous. 
"His saving of the boy's life was a noble act." "Our 
character is judged by our actions." 

Adherence, adhesion. — Adherence expresses the moral 



idea of attachment, while adhesion has reference to phys- 
ical attachment. We speak of a man's adherence to the 
principles of his party or the doctrines of his church, 
and of the adhesion of an object fastened to another, as 
the bark to the body of a tree. 

Admittance, admission. — Admittance has reference to 
the mere act of allowing to enter. Admission has refer- 
ence in a moral sense to the reception with some sort 
of sanction. Admittance is local, as the admittance into 
a public building. Admission has rather the meaning of 
a right to admittance. " It is the right of admission that 
secures admittance," says Smith. " No admittance here " 
is correct, as is also " We gained admission to the build- 
ing." There is admittance when the way is open, and 
admission when persons are willing to admit. 

Advantagre, benefit, profit. — An advantage is that 
which puts one forward, or places him in a better con- 
dition as regards society or his work ; thus, "The advan- 
tages of education, culture, and wealth." Benefit is any- 
thing which makes the person who receives it happier 
or more prosperous. We may reap benefits ourselves or 
they may be conferred upon us. We exercise for the 
benefit of our health ; we give to charity for the benefit 
of the poor. Pivftt is gain from something expended ; 
it is always the product of our own doing, whether in 
action or in money, while " advantage may come to us 
adventitiously, and benefits may be conferred upon us." 

Affliction, distress. — Affliction is a malady of mind or 
body, and is permanent. Distress is more mental than 
])hy8ical. It may be entirely independent of physical 
pain, and may be but temporary. 

Agrsrressor, assailant. — An aggressor is one who begins 
a quarrel ; an assailant is one who commits the first act 
of violence, as in striking the first blow. 


A^n^eement, contract. — An agreement is the consent 
of individuals or parties with reference to certain things 
or on certain terms. A contract is a binding agreement 
between individuals, formally written and executed. 

Amateur, novice. — An amateur is one who is attached 
to any art or science or who cultivates it. A novice is a 

Answer, reply. — An answer is a word or words given 
in return to a question. A reply is a formal answer to 
an argument, which may be more than a mere question, 
as in debate the reply meets or answers certain points or 
arguments. Reply is a broader term than answer. We 
answer a question and reply to an argument. 

Approbation, approval. — Approbation is a sentiment; 
approval is the expression of that sentiment. We enter- 
tain the approbation and express our approval. 

Amount, quantity, number. — Amount is the total in 
number or quantity. Quantity is used in connection 
with anything that may be measured. Number is used 
in connection with things that may be counted. 

Avocation, vocation. — An avocation is that in which 
one may be occupied or employed temporarily. One's 
vocation is his regular calling or profession. Thus, " My 
vocation is teaching; my avocation then was reading." 

Balance, rest, remainder. — Balance means the differ- 
ence between two sides of an account. Rest denotes that 
which is left after the separation of a part or parts, and 
is used in speaking of persons or things. Remainder is 
the rest under certain conditions. It is usually the 
smaller part which remains after the greater has been 
taken away ; it is used only in speaking of things. 

Body, corpse, carcass. — Body and coipaCj as a dead 
body, are applied to human beings ; carcass, only to the 
lower animals. Body, as far as the organization is con- 


oemed, applies to human beings and brutes ; corpse, to 
the bodies of human beings only. 

Bou^h, branch.— A branch is the limb of a tree con- 
sidered simply with regard to its ramifications. A bough 
is the branch invested with leaves, blossoms, or fruit. 
" The fruitful bough, rich with the foliage of summer 
and the fruit of autumn, becomes in winter the leafless 
branch." — Smith, 

Brace, pair, couple. — A pair, meaning two, must have 
some likeness; a couple means two of the same kind 
united. In a pair one is often the complement of the 
other, as a pair of gloves, a pair of shoes. Brace is a 
technical term used by sportsmen; as, "A brace of 

Burial, interment.— ^wnaJ is simply the covering of 
anything to hide it, as one may bury his face in his 
hands. Interment is a word more restricted in meaning 
than burial; it involves the idea of earth or soil. 

Calamity, disaster. — The word calamity is usually ap- 
plied to such events as produce extensive evils ; such as 
failure of crops, destructive floods, or civil war. Disas- 
ter is applied to such an occurrence as mars or ruins 
particular plans or conditions, such as losses in trade or 
railway accidents. 

Character, reputation. — Character is what a person 
morally is. Reputation is the prevailing opinion with 
regard to a person. 

Center, middle. — The center is a point or a definite 
place, as " The center of a city." The word middle is a 
less definite term than center; it may refer to space or 
time; as, "The middle of the road;" "The middle of a 
line ;" " The middle of winter." 

Choice, preference. — Choice denotes the act and the 
power of choosing. Preference is the exercise of choice 


in reference to one or more objects. To say that one has 
no choice in a matter means that he has no power to 
choose. To say that one has no preference in a matter 
means that he has no prevailing inclination or choice. 

Companion, associate, comrade. — A companion is 
one who goes in company with another temporarily''. 
There need be no equality; thus, a man's companion 
may be his dog. An assodale is one who is a habitual 
and voluntary companion on the ground of personal 
liking or community of feeling. A comrade is a com- 
panion who is made so by circumstances and not by 
personal choice. Thus, the students in a school or the 
soldiers of an army are comrades. 

Compensation, remuneration. — Compensation is an 
equivalent furnished for anything parted with or lost 
by another. Remuneration is compensation for personal 
services done to the remunerator. One's salary or wages 
is therefore remuneration. 

Composition, mixture. — A mixture is any interfusion 
of particles of a different nature into one mass, liquid 
or solid, and it may be the result of either chance or 
design. A composition is the union or mixture of parts, 
elements, or ingredients designedly, and according to 
certain proportions. 

Convert, proselyte. — A convert is one who turns from 
one set of opinions to another. A proselyte is one who 
has been brought over from one religion to another. 
The convert has changed his views, religious or other- 
wise ; the proselyte is one whose views on religion have 
been changed by the persuasion of others. 

Comer, angle. — Comer is applied to the meeting of 
two solid bodies, angle to the meeting of mathematical 
lines. Corner refers to the point of meeting; angle, to 
the space included between the lines. 


Crime, sin, misdemeanor. — A crime is a deed violat- 
ing a law, human or divine. The word is now usually 
restricted to mean the violating of a civil law. A sin is 
a violation of divine law, or any law of a sacred charac- 
ter. A misdemeanor is a minor crime. 

Custom, habit. — Custom is a frequent or habitual rep- 
etition, whether by individuals or communities. Habit 
applies to individuals only, and is the resulting effect of 
custom. Custom is voluntary ; habit is involuntary, and 
sometimes unconscious. 

Deception, deceit. — Deception is the act of deceiving. 
It applies to individual instances or acts of one who 
deceives. Deceit applies to the habit or quality of mind, 
or the trait of character ; thus, we speak of " a course of 

Delivery, deliverance. — Delivery means a delivering 
to; deliverance^ a delivering from. 

Difllculty, obstacle.—The word difficulty is usually 
applied to such impediments as are complicated, and 
require patience to overcome. Obstacle is applied to 
such as are simple. 

Disability, inability. — Disability expresses the absence 
of power from a subject capable of it ; disability may be 
only temporary. Inability is the absence of power from 
a subject incapable of it. Disability may be removed ; 
inability is irremediable. 

End, aim. — Aim has reference to the immediate object, 
end to the ultimate object. 

Extent, limit. — Exjtent denotes a superficial spreading 
in one or more directions. Limit is the boundary or 
restraint of such extent. 

House, home. — A house is a building in which to live. 
Home is the place where one habitually lives. 

Idea, thought. — An idea is a mental impression or 


picture ; thus, we have an idea of a rose ; we also have 
an idea of red or redness. We combine these ideas and 
we have a thought ; as, " The rose is red." 

Impertinence, impudence, insolence. — Impertinence 
has reference to the meddling with matters in which the 
meddler has no concern. Impudence is an unblushing 
assurance accompanied with a disregard of the presence 
or rights of others. Insolence is applied to the unbridled 
exhibition of impudence or pride, to the disregard of the 
feelings of others. " Impertinence is no respecter of pro- 
priety ; impudence, no respecter of delicacy ; insolence, 
no respecter of persons." 

Intellect, mind. — Intellect is used to denote the think-, 
ing power of the mind, including perception, memory, 
imagination, understanding, and intuition. Mind in- 
cludes not only the intellect, but also the sensibilities 
and the will. 

Intention, purpose. — Intention is a general setting of 
the mind on doing a thing. Purpose is stronger than 
intention, indicating a resolution to be carried out. In- 
tention is incipient volition, purpose is decisive. 

Invention, discovery. — Invention is the making of a 
combination of ideas a reality for the first time. A dis- 
covery is the finding out of something heretofore exist- 
ing but unknown. Thus, we invent machines and pro- 
cesses ; we discover elements, causes, and truths. 

Judgment, discernment. — Judgment is the power or 
faculty which decides accurately in practical matters. 
Discernment is combined keenness and accuracy of men- 
tal vision. Discernment regards differences rather than 
things, but judgment is concerned with the things them- 

Limb, member. — In human anatomy limb is the term 
applied to the arms and the legs, member is the term ap- 


plied to any organ or part of the body which performs 
a distinct office, as the tongue, the eye. 

Majority, plurality. — A majority is more than half of 
the whole number. A 'plurality is the excess of votes 
given to any candidate over the next highest. It is a 
majority when there are but two candidates, but not 
necessarily so when there are more than two. Thus, in 
a hundred votes cast, fifty-one or upward is a majority ; 
but if three candidates receive respectively forty, thirty- 
six, and twenty-four votes, the candidate receiving forty 
votes has a plurality, but not a majority. 

Melody, haxmony. — Melody is a rhythmical succession 
of single sounds so as to form a musical thought. Pop- 
ularly it is known as the tune. Harmony is a concord 
of two or more musical strains. In hymns and other 
musical selections, the melody usually is one of the 

Memory, remembrance, recollection. — Memory is 
that mental faculty by which we retain and reproduce 
a knowledge of past thoughts or events. It includes 
remembrance, the power of retaining knowledge, and 
recollection, the power of recalling knowledge. Strictly 
speaking, the following, " Do you remember my name?" 
means only " Do you hold my name in memory ?" What 
the speaker means to imply is " Do you recall my name?" 
That is, " Do you recollect my name ?" We remember any- 
thing that may be recalled either now or in the future, 
though we may not be able to recollect it when we wish. 
The word usually in demand is " recollect ;" as, " I recol- 
lect when it was thought impossible to send news by 

Negligence, neglect. — Negligence is applied to the 
habit; neglect, to an act or a succession of acts. 

Novice, novitiate. — A novice is a beginner, or one 


who is new in any business or calling. Novitiate denotes 
the state or the time of being a novice. 

Observance, observation. — Observance is the due or 
proper rendering of a formal or practical recognition to 
rule, law, custom, or occasion ; as, our observance of the 
Sabbath, our observance of law or of the principles of 
truth. Observation has reference to an act of close con- 
templation, with a view of becoming acquainted with 
the object, as the observation of an eclipse. 

Opinion, sentiment. — An opinion is purely intellec- 
tual, and is the result of a judgment on the subjects of 
science, argument, facts, principles, or occurrences. Sen- 
timent has to do only with matters of feeling. 

Part, portion. — Part is the general term, meaning that 
which is less than the whole. Portion is generally used 
with some suggestion of allotment. Thus, a portion of 
land is a quantity in which one or more persons are 

Proceeding, procedure. — ^A proceeding is a complex 
action whose steps or stages may be distinguished sepa- 
rately. Procedure is the act or manner of proceeding. 
Thus, we may say, "The proceedings were interesting." 
" His method of procedure was approved." 

Proposal, proposition. — A proposal is something put 
forth or laid down for acceptance or rejection by another. 
A proposition is simply a statement, an affirmation, or a 
denial. Smith, in Synonyms Discriminated^ suggests a 
further difference as follows: ^^Proposition being used 
for something to be deliberated upon; proposal, some- 
thing to be done." In general, it is better to say "I 
h'ave a proposal to make," rather than " a proposition 
to make." 

Beason, cause. — A reason is that which accounts for 
a conclusion. It is the why we believe as we do. Catise 


is that which produces an effect. The cause gives 
the physical account; the reason, the logical or meta- 

Receipt, reception. — The word receipt is used when 
money or other objects are taken into possession. Re- 
ception applies to persons and to such objects as are con- 
nected with sentiment on the part of the giver. The 
following are correct forms: "A receipt for the goods 
was given ;" " The reception of the favor won our grat- 
itude;" "The speaker met with a warm reception." 

Relative, relation. — A relative is one who is connected 
with another by blood or marriage. The word relation 
was so used formerly, but it is now confined mostly to 
its abstract sense; as, "What are his relations to the 
congregation?" " What relation is Mr. Strong to you?" 

Requirement, requisite. — A requirement is something 
required by a person or persons. A requisite is some- 
thing needed by the nature of the case to give complete- 
ness. Thus, "The requirements of candidates for the 
position are of a high order ;" " One of the requisites to 
success is a good character." 

Sewage, sewerage. — Sewage is the contents of sewers. 
Sewerage has reference to the system employed in carry- 
ing sewage. 

Adjective Synonyms. 

Acid, sour. — Acid and sour express different degrees 
of the same quality. Acid is a concentrated corrosive 
sourness; sour refers to a milder form of acidity. Lemon 
juice is acid, buttermilk is sour. 

Active, busy. — Active expresses a tendency to employ- 
ment. Busy means simply closely or diligently employ- 
ed. To be active implies energy ; to be busy implies at- 
tention to one's work. 



Adjacent, a^joininer, contigruous. — Adjacent means 
lying near, without touching. Adjoining means touch- 
ing at a single point. Contiguous means touching at one 
or more sides. 

Abundant, copious, plentiful. — Abundant is used 
without reference to the source, but with reference to 
the quantity of the supply; as, ''An abundance of 
money." Copious means an abundant giving forth ; as, 
" A copious stream." Plentiful is similar in meaning to 
abundant, but it is limited more strictly to physical 
things. We may speak of a plentiful or an abundant 
harvest, but not of a plentiful cause for gratitude. 

ArtAil, deceitfVil, designing. — The original meaning 
of artful was simply ^' full of art," in the sense of con- 
trivance. But the word now has reference to the use of 
such means for one's own purpose as are hidden from 
the observation of others. Deceitful has reference to a 
more deliberate purpose of leading others astray. One 
may be artful and yet not deceitful. The man who stands 
and looks intently at the top of a tree along the street, 
and thereby draws a curious crowd, may be called artful, 
but he is not necessarily deceitful. The deceitful man 
is ready, if necessary, to resort to falsehood to gain his 
end. Designing denotes the exercise of artful conduct 
with the specific purpose of securing certain results. 
The designing man is always laying plans for the pur- 
pose of accomplishing some end in the future. 

Authentic, genuine. — Authentic means having autho- 
rity. Genuine means real or true as opposed to what is 
spurious. A document is authentic when it relates facts 
and may be relied upon as being true and authoritative. 
It is genuine when it is the production of a person whose 
name it bears as author. 

Beautiftd, handsome. — The word handsome is applied 


to persons, to certain objects, and to moral acts. Beau- 
tiful is applied to persons and other objects of either 
sight or sound. Thus, we speak of " a handsome man," 
" handsome conduct," " a handsome horse." We speak 
also of " a beautiful woman," " a beautiful melody," " a 
beautiful landscape." Handsome may be applied to men 
or women ; horses, dogs, or other animals ; trees, houses, 
and parks; but not to landscapes, views, or prospects. 
Handsome is rarely applied to physioal objects of small 
size; these are jyretty or beautiful. 

Beneficent, generous, benevolent, liberal. — Benefr 
cent denotes largeness of bounty, as the outflow of great 
kindness combined with great power. The w^ord is now 
restricted almost wholly to Divine giving. Generous de- 
notes a mental disposition to give whether one has the 
means or not. It applies to forgiving as well as to giv- 
ing. Liberal denotes a character w^hich gives largely 
when it gives. It makes no definite estimates as to 
what is needed, but aims to give enough. In conduct 
it considers favorable as well as unfavorable construc- 
tions, and rather gives them the preference. Benevolent 
has reference to the person rather than to the act. A be- 
nevolent man will give when he can. In character he 
will avoid doing injury, and aim to benefit where he 
finds it possible. 

Brave, bold. — Brave applies to the readiness to meet 
such dangers as come from living or active opponents 
whose power is to be dreaded. The stopping of a run- 
away horse is a brave act, so also is the saving of a per- 
son from drowning or from being burned to death. Bold 
refers to a readiness or pretended readiness to meet dan- 
ger, rather than to the conduct when the danger comes. 
A man may be bold in his threats against an enemy, but 
when he runs away he is not brave. 


Bright, brilliant. — Brilliant is a stronger tenn than 
bright Bright is used in a variety of meanings, — shed- 
ding light, reflecting light, etc. BrilUant is shining with 
intense or sparkling brightness which shines with a 
changeful play. 

Ceremonial, ceremonious. — Ceremonial is applied to 
external rites, or public ceremony. CeremonioiLS is applied 
in its present sense to dealing overmuch in conventional 
forms between individuals. 

Clean, cleanly. — Clean means free from filth or that 
which is foul. In a moral sense it means that which is 
free from evil. Cleanly denotes a disposition to be phys- 
ical! v clean. It has reference to the habit. 

Close, nesjr. — Close is a more definite term than near. 
Houses or persons are close when they almost touch ; 
they may be near and yet be separated by a moderate 

Competent, qualified. — One is qualified for a task 
when, either by training or otherwise, he has a special 
aptitude for the work. He is competent when he has 
simply the natural powers, to which such subsequent 
training may be given as will make him qualified. 

Complete, entire, whole. — Entire and whole are in 
many cases interchangeable. An entire set of furni- 
ture and a whole set of furniture mean the same thing. 
Whole, however, applies to what is made up of parts. 
Therefore, where the idea is such that the thing which 
it represents cannot be divided into parts, the proper 
word is entire, as in " entire confidence," " entire care." 
Complete denotes the presence or possession of all that is 
needful to constitute a thing. An object is entire when 
not broken or mutilated ; it is complete when it lacks 

Corporal, corporeal. — Oorporai relates to the substance 


of the body ; corporeal, to the nature of the bod}'. We 
speak of " corporal punishment " and of our ** corporeal 

Diffident, bashful, modest, reserved. — Diffidence is the 
positive distrust of one's self. Modesty is the absence of 
any tendency to over-estimate one's self. Bashfulness is 
excessive or extreme modesty. Bese^re is a keeping to 
one's self. Sometimes it becomes faulty when it ap- 
proaches too nearly to pride. 

Docile, tractable. — Docile denotes the actual quality 
of meekness. Tractable denotes the absence of refrac- 
toriness. A docile child is easily taught and managed ; 
a tractable child may be taught and governed by proper 

Doubtfiil, tincertain. — Doubtful is used in the sense 
of entertaining a doubt or admitting a doubt. Uncertain 
simpl}'^ expresses a lack of sufi&cient knowledge to de- 
cide. "It is doubtful whether we shall win, for it is 
uncertain how many votes will be cast." 

Eager, earnest. — Eager denotes an excited desire and 
intentness in the pursuit of some object; as, "Children 
eager to see ;" " Hounds eager in the chase." Earnest is 
always used in a good sense, and refers to the steadiness 
and energy of an occupation or a habit. 

Eligrible, desirable. — Eligible means worthy of being 
chosen, or qualified to be chosen. Desirable is broader 
in its application. It relates to any kind of choice, as 
of possession, conduct, or anything that is to be wished 
for ; as, " a desirable residence," " desirable associates," 
" desirable absence of noise." 

Endemic, epidemic. — An epidemic disease is one in 
which the cause acts on a large number of people at the 
same time. An endemic disease is one that is peculiar to 
the people of a particular nation or community, its ori- 


pin being connected with the local conditions or the 
personal habits of those among whom it occurs. 

Enonnous, hugfe, vast. — Huge denotes great size, with 
massiveness predominating over proportion. Enormous 
is huge of its particular kind ; thus, an apple five inches 
in diameter would not be huge, but it would be an enor- 
mous apple. Vagt has reference to the. quality of great 
superficial area, as vast prairies and huge mountains. 

Envious, jealous. — Envious denotes a feeling of un- 
happmess caused by the contemplation of any good 
enjoyed by another. Jealous indicates envy mixed with 
rivalry. One is jealous of another when the latter stands 
in some relation to a third which the former desires to 
occupy. Nations as well as individuals may be jealous. 

Equal, equable. — Equal is applicable to number, de- 
gree, or measurement of things fixed. Equabk denotes 
the quality of continuous proportion, and is applied to 
action or movement. Thus, we say a vessel sails an 
equable, not an equal, rate when it sails as great a dis- 
tance in any hour as in the preceding. 

Equal, equivalent. — Equal denotes that two things 
agree in anything that is capable of degree, as number, 
value, quality. Equivalent means equal in such propor- 
tions as affect ourselves, or the use we make of things, 
as value, force, effect. 

Extraordinary, remarkable. — Extram-dinary denotes 
that which is out of or beyond the ordinary. It is 
sometimes equivalent to the word remarkable^ or that 
which causes remark, but it cannot be used as equivalent 
to remarkable except when the subject contemplated 
excites remark. 

Extravagant, prodigal. — Extravagant denotes a wan- 
dering beyond. One may be extravagant in the exp)en- 
diture of money, in speech, in compliments. Prodigal 


indicates a love of large and excessive expenditures. A 
poor man may be extravagant, but he is prevented by 
his poverty from being prodigal. 

Female, feminine, effeminate. — Female is applied to 
sex as opposed to male. Feminine indicates that which 
is characteristic of females, as opposed to masculine. 
Effeminate applies to those actions or characteristics of 
men which would be more appropriate to women. We 
speak of " female dress," " feminine accomplishments," 
"effeminate actions." 

Garrulous, loquacious, talkative. — Garrulous denotes 
being unduly talkative, especially about others' affairs 
rather than our own. Talkative implies a desire to 
engage in talk with others as well as to others. Lo- 
quacious denotes the habit of talking continuously. 

Gentle, mild, meek. — Gentle originally denoted well- 
born. It indicates refinement and quietness of nature. 
It is applicable to animals, and, by analogy, to external 
forces and influences. We may speak not only of a 
gentleman, but also of gentle lambs, gentle breezes, and 
the like. Mild implies subdued but not deteriorated 
energy, as "mild air," which might be harsh; "mild 
expression," "mild disposition." Meek differs from mild 
and gentle in never being applied to conduct, but only 
to the temper or character. A meek person is one who 
submits to wrong rather than combat it. 

Gratuitous, voluntary. — Gratuitous means given with- 
out recompense, or without proof. A gratuitous assertion 
is one without proof; a gratuitous affront, one that is 
unmerited or uncalled-for. Voluntary means by the con- 
sent of one's will; that is, not done under compulsion. 
Many acts are done voluntarily that are not done wil- 

Great, bigr, large. — Big gives the impression of relative 


bulk ; as, a big fish, a big mountain. Large applies 
chiefly to relative width or capacity ; as, a large build- 
ing, one that is capacious. Great may be used not only 
with regard to size or number, but with regard to any- 
thing that may exist in degree; as, "a great noise," "a 
great address," "a great battle." A great soldier may 
not be a large soldier, nor a large soldier a great one. 
Number, quantity, and extent are represented as large. 
Power, knowledge, strength, wisdom, and such abstract 
qualities as ignorance, weakness, and folly, with their 
opposites, may be represented as great. 

Hard, difficult. — Hard expresses in a general way 
w4iat difficult expresses in a more refined and particular 
way. Any work of the body or the mind which seems 
to resist our efforts may be said to be hard. That which 
is difficult presents a kind of hardness which requires 
some mental aptitude, as well as work and persever- 
ance, to overcome. Many occupations are not difficult, 
but they require hard work. The process of solving a 
problem may not be hard work, but it is often difficult. 
We therefore speak correctly of difficult questions and 
difficult problems instead of hard problems and hard 

Hideous, shocking. — Hideous primarily denoted that 
which is frightful to behold, but is now extended also to 
noises. That which is shocking acts with a sudden effect 
The hideous contradicts beauty and is lasting ; the shock- 
ing contradicts morality and is temporary. 

Lawftil, le^al. — Lawful denotes " in accordance with 
law, whether civil or moral." Legal denotes conformity 
to civil law, the law of the land. 

Little, small. — Little is a general term, and applies to 
quantity as well as size; as, "little attention;" "a little 
boy." Small applies to size only. Litde is opposed to 


big ; small, to large. The terms are relative, little being 
excei3tionally small. 

Luxuriant, luxurious. — Luxuriant means superabun- 
dant; luxurious, contributing to luxury; thus, "luxuriant 
vegetation ;" " luxurious ease." 

Noted, notorious. — Noted refers to that wliich is 
well-known favorably or eminently, as "a noted ora- 
tor." Notorious is employed to express what is widely 
and publicly known, and usually, though not always, 
unfavorably ; as, " A notorious thief." 

Obstinate, stubborn. — An obstinate person is one that 
will do what he has determined upon. A stubborn person 
will not do what others wish him to do. One term is 
positive; th-e other, negative. 

Only, alone. — Only indicates that there is no other of 
the same kind ; alone, denotes being accompanied by no 
other. " An only child " is one that has no brothers or 
sisters ; " a child alone " is one that is not accompanied 
by any one. The following are correct : " Only members 
are admitted;" "The request alone was sufi&cient to 
secure the favor." 

Opinionated, conceited. — Opinionated denotes self-con- 
ceit on particular points in one's judgment, accompanied 
with an obstinate determination to hold to one's opin- 
ion. Conceited refers to the over-estimation of one s own 

Penurious, saving. — Saving denotes the avoiding of 
unnecessary expense, whether as a habit or for a pur- 
pose. Penurious refers to the suffering of want in the 
extremity of saving. 

Pliant, pliable. — That which is capable of bending is 
pliant. That which may be readily bent is pliable. A 
whipstock is pliant, but a whiplash is pliable. 

Bational, reasonable. — Rational denotes that which 


pertains to the reasoning powers as a faculty. It is that 
which distinguishes the man from the brute. Reasonable 
has reference more to that which is in accord with our 
sense of right or fitness, as "a reasonable excuse." 

Ravenous, voracious. — Both these words apply to 
the matter of appetite. A voracious animal is one that 
eats large quantities of food ; a ravenous animal is one 
that eats with great haste, usually because hunger has 
been increased by privation. 

Befractory* ungrovemable. — Refractory denotes per- 
verseness in breaking rules or in disobeying commands. 
Ungovernable denotes that which sets at defiance all at- 
tempts to govern or control. 

Begral, royal. — Regal means belonging to the attri- 
butes of a king; as, "regal splendor." Royal denotes 
belonging to the person of the king ; as, " royal robes ;" 
"royal crown." 

Ridiculous, ludicrous. — Ludicrous denotes that which 
is likely to provoke laughter, but without any necessary 
admixture of contempt. Ridiculous conveys " the idea 
of the contemptible in things and the humiliating in 

Righteous, godly. — A righteous man is one w^ho in a 
practical way believes in revealed religion, and does 
what he believes is in conformity with the Divine will. 
A godly man is one who communes with God, in prayer, 
meditation, apd the study of God's word. 

Scarce, rare. — Things are rare when only a few of the 
kind exist; they are scarce when they can be had only in 
less quantity than usual. 

Sensible, sensitive. — Sensible expresses a habit or 
state of mind relating to a particular subject. Thus, 
one may be sensible of cold, heat, or kindness. Sensi- 
tive expresses a condition in which the sense or feeling 


is quickly acted upon, as one is sensitive to changes of 

Womanly, womanish. — Womanly denotes belonging 
to woman. Womanish means effeminate. Thus, we speak 
of the womanly traits of girls and the womanish ways 
of some men. 

Verb Synonyms. 

Abdicate, resign. — These words differ chiefly in their 
application to the importance of position. Abdicate means 
to leave or reject a high power, dignity, or station, as a 
king abdicates his throne. Resign means to quit or give 
up any situation, office, or employment, high or low, as 
an officer or an employee may resign his position. 

Allow, permit. — To aUow is to give some degree of 
sanction ; to permit is simply not to prevent. 

Argue, debate. — To argue is to say all that can be 
said either for or against a proposition ; to debate is to 
sift by argument for and against. 
. Assassinate, kill, mm'der. — ^To kill is the broadest of 
these terms. It means simply to deprive of life, includ- 
ing vegetable as well as animal life. To murder is to kill 
with malicious thought and intention. To assassinate is 
to murder by secret or sudden attack upon a person. 

Banish, expel, transport, expatriate. — To banish is to 
eject by ban or public proclamation. To expel is to drive 
out. To transport is to carry beyond the sea to a penal 
colony. To expatriate denotes the alienation from one's 
native land. One may expatriate liimself, but he is 
banished, expelled, or transported by some authority in 

Begin, conmience. — Begin usually refers to time or 
order. Commence implies action. Thus, "A wicked life 
begins with little sins." Formal and public transactions 


are said to commence. Thus, " The work of preparing 
the book was commenced before the holidays." 

Collect, assemble. — To collect^ used intransitively, is 
to gather from different places into one body or place. 
To assemble denotes the same as to collect, but is appli- 
cable only to persons. 

Comprehend, apprehend. — Apprehend is to lay hold 
of or grasp by the mind. It is simply the recognition 
of a fact Comprehend implies more than apprehend. 
To comprehend is to embrace or understand a thought 
in all its extent. I comprehend a thought when I know 
all about it. 

Confess, acknowledge. — To acknowledge is to admit 
that one has knowledge. To confess implies a fault. The 
word confess is frequently misused for acknowledge or ad- 
mit, as in " I confess I thought he was the taller of the 

Confirm, corroborate. — The use of these words is to 
give strength to assertions. To corroborate is used only 
of the subjects ; as, facts, opinions, or statements are cor- 
roborated, while confirm is used with reference both t.o the 
minds of the persons and to the subjects. Thus, " His 
statement was corroborated ;" " I am confirmed in my 

Conftite, reftite. — Confute applies both to an argument 
and to the person who makes the argument. To refute 
means to repel by the same kind of argument, and ap- 
plies to anything that may be alleged against one, as 
calumny and the like. 

Congratulate, felicitate. — To felicitate originally meant 
to make happy, and was the proper word to use when it 
was meant to compliment a singer or a speaker on the 
excellence of his performance. The word congratulate, 
which implies a sharing in another's happiness, has, 


however, of late been made to take the place of the 
word felicitate when we mean a simple expression of 
formal politeness. 

Devise, bequeath. — Devise is properly used for a gift 
of real estate by will. Bequeath is properly used when 
applied to a gift of personal property by will, but Law 
Courts have in a measure extended the application of 
the word " bequeath " to include what is properly ex- 
pressed by the word "devise." 

Descry, discover. — Discover is to bring to light what 
was concealed or unknown. Descry is to discover by 
the eye things difficult of discernment on account of 
distance or dimness. 

Dispel, disperse. — Dispel means to separate or scatter 
in such a way as to cause to vanish. Disperse means 
simply to scatter abroad. We dispel illusions. Sun- 
shine dispels the fog. We disperse crowds. 

Distinguish, discriminate. — So far as these words are 
used as synonyms, discriminate is used only of mornl 
subjects ; distinguish is used also in reference to physical 
objects. We distinguish best by showing great differ- 
ences, we discriminate best by showing slight differences. 

Educate, instruct. — To instruct is to impart know- 
ledge; to educate is to train and develop. 

Excel, surpass. — To excel is to go beyond in good 
qualities or in laudable actions. Excel is employed 
only in an honorable sense. To surpass denotes to go 
beyond others, but it is not limited to what is praise- 
worth v. 

Expend, spend. — Spend is applied indefinitely to 
what we pay out. Expend refers to what we pay out 
from a particular source on a particular object. Thus, 
" He spends two thousand dollars a year, of which he 
expends five hundred dollars on travel." 


Foretell, predict. — To foretell is to tell or declare be- 
forehand what is to happen. Predict differs from fore- 
tell chiefly in being limited in its use to persons, while 
foretell is used also of other indicators, as " Clouds fore- 
tell rain." 

Chieve, mourn. — To grieve is to feel trouble or the 
pain of inward distress. It is purely mental. To mourn 
is to give outward expression to our griet 

Imbibe, absorb. — To imbibe means to take the moist- 
ure away from one body into another. To absorb means 
simply to take the moisture away. The rays of the 
sun are said to absorb moisture ; a sponge both absorbs 
and imbibes. 

Incite, excite. — ^To excite is to call into greater activ- 
ity, or to arouse to an active stiite powers before dor- 
mant. To incite is to excite to a particular act or end. 

Inhibit, prohibit. — ^To prohibit is to forbid by the force 
of authority ; to irJiibit is to prohibit coercively. Pro- 
hibition lies in words only ; inhibition is supported by 
power to enforce the restraint 

Intrude, encroaoh, obtrude. — To intrude is to thrust 
one's self upon the presence or the society of another. 
To encroach is to come gradually or imperceptibly upon 
another's land or upon his rights. To obtrude is to thrust 
one's self in the way. 

Move, remove. — To move is to change the position 
of an object, or to cause an internal motion of its parts. 
To remove it is to take it away bodily. 

Nominate, name. — To name is to mention for a gen- 
eral purpose. To nominate is to mention for a specific 
purpose. Only persons are nominated. Things as well 
as persons are named. 

Obstruct, hinder, prevent. — To obstruct is to place 
something in the way of To hinder, the most generiJ 


of these terms, now means simply to keep one from his 
purpose temporarily. To prevent is to render altogether 
impracticable. To hinder supposes no design ; to pre- 
vent denotes a premeditated act. 

- Obviate, prevent. — Prevent means so to hinder that 
an act shall not happen at all. Obviate means to pre- 
vent its happening in the future. Crimes and calamities 
should be prevented ; difficulties, inconveniences, trouble, 
should be obviated. 

Outlive, survive. — To outlive means to live longer than 
another ; to survive is to live after another, or after certain 
antagonistic influencce have been overcome. 
. Pardon, excuse. — To excuse is applied to small faults ; 
to pardon, to greater ones. 

Pai^, peel. — Pare means to trim ; peel, to take off the 
skin. An uncooked potato is pared; when cooked, it 
may be peeled. We peel an orange, but pare an apple. 
To peel denotes a natural process ; to pare, an artificial 

Prognosticate, foretell. — To foretell is to tell before- 
hand. To prognosticate is to know beforehand. A phys- 
ician prognosticates the progress of a disease by the 
symptoms discoverable in the patient. 

Bcize, demolish. — Raze means to make even with the 
ground. Demolish means to destroy an organized body 
or a structural mass, as the walls of a building. 

Recede, retreat, withdraw. — To recede is to go back ; 
the action is suited to our convenience. To retreat is to 
draw back, usually from necessity, as to escape danger. 
Withdraw has much the same meaning as recede, except 
that recede refers to going back from a given spot, whereas 
withdraw is applied where the place or persons are con- 
cerned, as we withdraw from a room or from a company 
of persons. 


Receive, accept. — Used as synonyms, to receive is 
to tiike back; to accept is to take to one's self. We 
receive what is our own; we accept what others 
ofl'er us. 

Recline, repose. — To redine is to lean back. To repose 
is to recline in such a position as is most easy and com- 

Recoil, rebound. — Rebound is to bound back or spring 
back. Recoil is to coil or whirl back. A ball rebounds ; 
a snake recoils. 

Relieve, alleviate. — To relieve is to remove or take 
away. To allevicUe is to lighten or lessen. That which 
removes pain relieves it; that which affords ease from 
pain alleviates it. 

Share, divide, distribute. — To divide is to cut or sep- 
arate into parts. To share is to divide into parts and 
give those parts to others, reserving one or more parts 
for ourselves. To distribute is to give all the parts to 
others, reserving none for ourselves. 

Shut, close. — To close means to bring together the parts, 
as we close tlie eyelids. To shut is to bring the parts so 
close together that there can be no ingress or egress. 
The petals of a flower close. We close a book. The 
door of a house is shut. One may shut his mouth by 
closing his lips. There are many cases where the words 
may be used interchangeably. 

Slant, slope. — These words have substantially the 
same meaning, but their application varies. Slant is 
applied to small bodies ; slope, to those that are either 
large or small. My pen slants as I write, but a hillside 

Slip, slide, glide. — To slip means an involuntary move- 
ment. Slide refers to a voluntary movement. Slip and 
slide indicate lateral movements of the feet, while glide 


indicates a movement of the whole body. We glide 
when we slide; a ship glides in the water. 

Speak, talk, converse. — To speak is simply to utter 
articulate sounds. To talk is to speak to others. To 
converse is to talk with others. 

Treasure, hoard. — To treasure is to lay up for the sake 
of preserving. To hoard is to lay up for the sake of 

Utter, speak. — To utter is to put forth a vocal sound. 
To speak is to utter an intelligible sound. We may utter 
a groan, but we speak words. 

Yield, submit. — To yield is to surrender one's self in 
consequence of external pressure. To submit denotes 
more of a voluntary action than to yield. We submit 
sometimes because we deem it prudent, and our submis- 
sion is only partial or temporary. We yield because we 
are compelled, and the yielding is final. A person may 
submit without showing any resistance, but he yields 
only after a struggle. 

Adverb Synonyms. 

Advisedly, deliberately. — One who speaks or acts 
advisedly does so with a full knowledge of the circum- 
stances and the consequences of his conduct. One who 
speaks or acts deliberately takes time to weigh the matter 
in his mind. 

Always, continually. — We do always what we do at 
all times and on all occasions. We do continually that 
which we do without intermission. 

Almost, nearly. — Almost applies to matters of progres- 
sion, degree, or force. Nearly is applied to matters of 
time, space, and fact. Thus, " We have almost finished 
the work." " I am nearly twenty years old." Nearly may 
be preceded by a negative ; as, " It is not nearly so cold 



as it was," but almost is never so preceded. A man 
"almost killed" may have been seriously hurt; while 
a man "nearly killed" has escaped entirely. 

Consequently, therefore, accordingrly. — (hnsequently 
means in consequence of; it is employed either in rea- 
soning or in narration. Therefore means for this reason ; 
it implies a conclusion and is employed in abstract rea- 
soning. Accordingly means " according to some thing or 
principle;" it implies an agreement or an adaptation, 
and is used chiefly in narration. 

Especially, particularly, chiefly, principcJly. — Espe- 
ciaUy and 'particularly are superlative in their import. 
They refer to one object out of the many that is supe- 
rior to all others. Especially is the stronger word of the 
two. The words are used as follows : " We are too prone 
to listen to the evil that is spoken of others, especially 
of our enemies ;" " There is but little rainfall in some 
parts of the West, particularly on the plains." Chiefly 
and principally are comparative in their import. They 
denote a superiority over only some others; as, "In- 
dians live chiefly in the Territories." "They mistake 
the nature of criticism who think its business is prin- 
cipally to find fault." 

Frequently, often. — Often usually refers to a series 
known to be established. It relates to a standard of 
frequency; as, "How often does the wheel revolve?" 
"How often do you come?" Frequently denotes the 
simple repetition of anything without reference to any 
standard or order; as, "We frequently have frost in 

Relatively, comparatively. — Oomparatively denotes 
according to an estimate made by comparison. It is 
opposed to positively. Relatively means according to a 
relation to something else; it is opposed to absolutely. 


Comparatively regards an average ; relatively, a standard. 
Thus, "The school has comparatively few students;" 
that is, considering the number attending other schools 
of like grade. " There were relatively few in attendance 
at the lecture ;" that is, regarding the matter that was to 
be discussed. 

Scarcely, hardly.— These words in many cases may 
be used interchangeably. Where there is a difference 
scarcely relates to quantity; hardly, to degree. "There 
was scarcely a bushel;" "It is hardly cold enough 
to freeze." 

Preposition Synonyms. 

About, around, round, at. — About is less precise than 
around or at. It may apply to place, time, quantity, or 
number; as, "About the house;" "About midday;" 
"About a bushel;" "About twenty." 

Around means " on all sides," " encircled like a ring 
or a globe." It implies rest, and locates place more 
definitely than " about ;" as, " Around the fire-place," 
" Around the field." Round has generally reference to 
a rotary movement or a partial encircling; as, "The 
longest way round ;" " To go round in a circle ;" " Bread 
enough to go round." 

At means nearness; as, "At the window;" "At 4 
o'clock;" "At rest." 

At, in. — These two words are frequently used in speak- 
ing of places or residence. Usually in implies enclosure ; 
as, " We stayed in Holland ;" " They lived in Philadel- 
phia." It also is more generally applied to countries and 
larger cities, while at implies nearness to a point or bor- 
der, and applies to smaller places or foreign cities ; as, 
"They landed at Charleston;" "He stopped in New 
York, but he lives at Dover." 


Above, over, beyond. — These terms have both a lit- 
eral and a figurative meaning. Above means higher in 
position, number, degree, rank, etc. ; as, " The room above 
this;" "The moral law is above the civil." Over indicates 
what is expressed by oiore, with the addition of the idea 
of verticality ; as, " The cliff juts over the river ;" " The 
clouds hung over the valley." Beyond relates to the 
measurement of distance, usually horizontal, but also 
sometimes vertical ; as, "The forest is beyond the river;" 
" The stars are beyond the moon." 

Above, on, upon. — On and upon differ from above and 
over in this, that they imply contact; as, "The book is 
on the table ;" " The cup was put upon the shelf." On 
and upon differ as to relative height; thus, 07i is properly 
used when it implies contact on the upper side of any- 
thing, or even when action is implied and the position 
is low ; as, " The pen is on the table;" "Throw the water 
on the grass." Upon denotes that the position is one of 
some elevjition, and generally it is used in connection 
with a verb implying action ; as, " Upon the moun- 
tains;" "He tossed the book upon (up on) the shelf." 
The two words are now, however, almost interchange- 
able. Sometimes for the sake of euphony or rhythm, 
upon is preferable to on ; also when motion into position 
is involved. 

After, behind. — After has special reference to the 
order to which two things belong in common, espe- 
cially as regards time; as, "The assembly did not con- 
vene until after 10 o'clock ;" " The hounds ran after the 
fox." BeJiind has reference to the position of two things 
in space, without any notion of consecutiveness ; as, 
"Behind the door;" "The tree behind the house;" 
"He has left no estate behind him to create contro- 


Amid, among. — Amid and amidst mean so "sur- 
rounded by " as to be in the midst ; as, 

" Amid the lingering light." 

'* Lead, kindly light, amid the encircling gloom 

Lead thou me on." — Neinman. 
" He stood firm amidst the storm." 
" Undaunted amidst insults and mockeries." 

Amxmg implies number ; also, " mingling with ;" as, 

" Love among mortals is but an endless sigh." — Longfellow. 

" Flowers among weeds." 

"To be happy yourself you must live among the happy." — 

"He sent his apostles forth like sheep amongst wolves," — 

■Among, between. — The distinction between among 
and between is one chiefly as to number. Between has 
reference to two; and ammig, to more than two; as, 
"Between daylight and dark;" "The proceeds were 
divided between the merchant and his partner;" the 
adage says, " There is honor among thieves," the num- 
ber unlimited ; " We were among friends ;" " The good 
opinion of the teacher soon spread among the pupils." 

Betwixt, which was formerly used in the sense of 
between, is now rarely used. 

Below, under, beneath. — Smith, in Synonyms Discrim- 
inated, says, " That which we are under is that by which 
we are covered, overhung, or overtopped. That which 
we are below is simply something which is higher than 
ourselves. That which we are beneath is much higher 
than we." 

Beside, besides. — Beside means "by the side of" or 
"at the side;" as, 

" A cot beside the sea." 

" Lovely Thais sits beside thee." — Dryden. 


Besides^ as a preposition, means " in addition to " or " in 
connection with ;'' as, 

" Besides his wealth he has few claims to recogDition.'' 
*' The marquis had but little besides his palace/' 

But. — But, when used in the sense of except, is a 
prei)Osition, and should be followed by the objective 
case; as, 

" All but him had gone." 
" The boy stood on the burning deck 
Whence all but him had fled." — Mrs. Hemans, 

Occasionally but is met with in literature, followed by 
the nominative case instead of the objective, as in the 
following from Scott: 

" Should all the race of mortals die, 
And none be left but he and I." 

If this is correct usage, as is claimed by some, hut is a 
conjunction, and the sense of the sentence is " And none 
be left but he and I " (be left). Has the poet violated 
a grammatical rule to make / rhyme with die? It 
seems so. 
By, through, with, — By means nearness. 

a. In 'place; as, 

" A city by the sea." 

" The house was close by the river." 

h. In time; as, 

" We shall be ready by Wednesday." 
" The angel came by night." — Stoddard. 

c. In means; as, 

" Success is won by hard work." 
" Your message came by mail." 


d. In manner; as, 

" We grew cold by degrees." 
"They came in one by one." 

By usually refers to persons : with, to things ; through 
may refer to either. Thus, "The path having become 
useless through neglect, it was cleared by the servauts 
toith scythes and hoes." By denotes the agent; with, 
the instrument; as, "He was shot by the guard with 
a musket." 

Spubious Words. 

A number of words, used probably first by the uned- 
ucated, but not recognized as good English, have found 
their way into our language. A few of these, usually 
known as spurious words, are here given. 

Authoress, — There is no authority for this word, as 
there is none for poetess or writeress. There are but few 
words in our language which take the termination ess, 
and most of these are titles which primarily denote the 
names of males, and therefore take "ess" to denote the 
feminine. The most important of these are abbotj baron, 
duke, count, emperor, prince, marquis, and a few others 
among titles; also, ambassador, govoTior, hunter, priest, 
prophet, etc. But in the case of the words author, poet, 
conductor, inspector, etc., it is not necessarily the man 
but the person that acts ; hence, sex is not necessarily 
indicated in the original forms author, poet, writer, etc., 
and no distinctive form is necessary for the feminine. 

Agricidturalist is a word much used by writers on agri- 
culture, but it has no legitimate existence. The correct 
word is agriculturist. Matthews remarks that we might 
as well speak of a gcologicalist or a chemicalist as an 


Controversialist is another spurious word occasionally 
used. The word is derived from "controvert." A con- 
trovertist is one who controverts. The office being al- 
ready filled by " controvertist " and " controverter," there 
is no j)lace for " controversialist," which could mean only 
one who " controversials," a term which is unknown to 
our language. 

Donate is one of the ill-born words for which the lan- 
guage seems to have no use so long as we have the 
words give, present, bestow, grant, etc. But donate is prob- 
ably no worse than orate from oration, coUate from colla- 
tion, ovate from ovation, and the like, none of which 
should be recognized as legitimate words, or be used by 
those who desire to speak correct English. 

Enthuse, though lately growing somewhat into favor,* 
is a word not yet recognized by the best authorities as 
good English. 

Firstly is sometimes used by even such reputable 
writers as Dickens, but it is not a word in good stand- 
ing. The word first is the proper word whether as an 
adjective or as an adverb. 

Folks for folk is condemned by the critics because the 
word folk already implies plurality. 

Had have, or, as it is often written by the illiterate, 
had of or had or, is a vulgarism used for had. The proper 
expression is " Had I seen him," not " Had I have seen 

Illy is frequently used for ill. III may be used as 
either adverb or adjective. There is no such word as 


Innumerable Number. — This expression, occasionally 
used, represents something impossible. 

Jeopardize is a word that has given rise to some dis- 
cussion. The original word is jeopard, which, it is 


claimed, is a legitimate English word as old as the 
hmguage, meaning " to expose to loss or injury, to im- 
peril, to hazard." The word jeopardize^ though con- 
demned by such writers on English as Gould and Rich- 
ard Grant White, has still made considerable prog- 
ress in the way of supplanting jeopard. But, as one 
writer remarks, there seems to be no more necessit}' 
for the word than there is for perUize, hazardize, and 
similar words yet uncoined. 

Leniency is another of the words not needed in our 
language. We already have lenity and the adjective 
lenient to cover the ground. 

Preventative^ a spurious form for preventive, rotatory for 
rotary, coMudity for casualty, underhanded for underhand, 
speciality for specialty, are barbarisms which, as Mat- 
thews says, should be excommunicated. 

Stand-pointy though much used, is a questionable word. 
Why we should have stand-point and not be allowed to 
lise start-point as a legitimate word, is difficult to un- 
derstand. The correct forms are " standing-point " and 
" starting-point " if they are to be used. Stand-point is 
used incorrectly for " point of view." 

Then as an adjective, as in " The then king of France," 
is sanctioned by some authorities and condemned by 

The masseSy as a term meaning the people in general, 
is condemned by the best authorities on the proper use 
of English. In the statement, " It is a conflict between 
the classes and the masses," one is inclined to ask, Masses 
of what? 

Words Liable to be Misused. 

Words are frequently used which do not convey the 
meaning intended. The speech of the Congressman 


who, wlien an insinuation was made against his motives, 
indignantly " denied the allegation and defied the alli- 
gator," is a fixir illustration of how easily words may 
be misapplied. When Shillaber makes Mrs. Partington 
speak of the cesophagiis as the sarcophagus^ we enjoy the 
wit because we know that the wrong word has been used 
with a full knowledge of its meaning for the purpose of 
amusing us ; but many of these misused words are mis- 
used ignorantly or carelessly. 

Frequently words that differ somewhat in meaning are 
liable to be substituted for each other. Care should be 
taken to give the proper shade of meaning to each word. 

Careless or thoughtless writers frequently use words 
loosely without regard to the exact meaning. Thus, the 
word party is often used improperly for the word persmi. 
A person is an individual human being; a party is a col- 
lection of persons, or used in the singular it is one who 
takes a part or is a party to a suit or a legal document. 

Thus, also, the word success is sometimes used where 
the adjective successful would be more appropriate. Thus, 
" Our meeting was a great success " might be expressed 
more elegantly by the form, "Our meeting was very 

The word team is a word frequently misused. The 
word properly means "two or more animals working 
together." A single horse is not a team, nor is a horse 
and a carriage, nor are two or more horses hitched to a 
wagon. Two or more horses are a team when working 
together, but the wagon or other vehicle constitutes no 
part of the team. The term " foot-ball team " is strictly 

The following is a partial list of words liable to be 

Accord for grant. — To accord means to agree with or 


to suit; as, "That accords with my views," or "Your 
views accord with mine." Bat in the expression, " He 
accorded (granted) me many privileges," the word grant 
implies what we wish to say. 

Affable for good-^natured. — Affable means easy of 
approach in conversation, ready to speak, but it is now 
applied to express an easy and considerate manner on 
the part of persons of superior position to those of infe- 
rior rank. A President may be affable to his guests. 

Aggravating for irritating. — Aggravating means mak- 
ing heavier or more grave. It is frequently misused for 
the word irritating, which means exciting unduly in 
either a physical or a mental sense. 

All of them for them all. — We may say I bought 
"one of them" or "two of them," but not "all of them." 
Of means here out of, and cannot be used with all. The 
proper form is " them all ;" thus, " I bought them all." 

Allude for say or mention. — To allude to a thing 
means to hint at it playfully without any direct men- 
tion of it. As an example of its misuse, speakers fre- 
quently say as follows : " The gentleman in his remarks 
has alluded to my speech on this question." It would 
be better to say "has mentioned my speech," or "has 
referred to my speech." 

Alternative. — Alternative implies a choice between two 
things. We cannot speak of two alternatives as being 
offered, but one alternative or choice. When that choice 
has been made there remains no more. Careless writers 
speak of " several alternatives " having been presented 
or offered. 

Antecedents. — This word is used frequently in refer- 
ence to a man's previous conduct or character, as in 
"What do you know of this person's antecedents?" 
Such usage is not correct. The antecedents of a person 


are properly those who have preceded him. The proper 
form of the question is, " What do you know of this 
person's past life?" 

Appreciates for rises.~The word " appreciate " is often 
incorrectly used to express a rise in price ; as, " Wheat 
has appreciated in value." In tliis sense the word is 
improperly used for me (risen). 

Apt for liable or likely. — Apt means the possession 
of mental ability. An apt person qualifies himself for 
any work with comparative ease. Thus, we say, " He 
is apt to learn," or " He is apt to teach." Liable ex- 
presses a capability of being acted upon ; as, " We are 
liable to catch cold ;" " Iron is liable to rust." Likely is 
used chiefly in the sense of probability; as, "It will 
likely rain to-night." Frequentl}'^ the word apt is im- 
properly used for liable ; as, " The weather is apt (lia- 
ble) to change at any time;" "We are apt to be dis- 

At all is a needless phrase. It adds nothing to the 
meaning or force of an expression in which it is used. 
"Nobody at all was injured in the accident" and "It 
^vas not at all strange," express no more than they 
would by the omission of the phrase at all. 

Balance for remainder or rest. — Balance is properly 
the difference between the two sides of an account. 
The rest is that which remains or is left after the sepa- 
ration of a part or parts. The remainder is the rest 
under certain conditions, usually the smaller part which 
remains after the greater part has been taken away. In- 
stead of saying "A large part of the arm)'^ escaped, but 
the balance were either killed or wounded," say " the 
rest" or "the remainder" were either killed or wounded. 

Besides for beside. — Beside is a preposition, and means 
^^by the side of;" as, 


" Harry sits beside his mother." 

Usage has extended the meaning to " out* of the regular 
course '' and " out of;" thus, 

" It is beside my present intention to disturb those in office." 
" Paul, thou art beside thyself." 

Besides is a preposition when it means " in addition 
to;" as, 
'' Besides the children, the parents were much interested." 

Besides is an adverb when it means " moreover;" as, 
** Besides, there are other matters to be looked after." 

Both alike. — The word " both" in the expression " both 
alike " is superfluous. If two things are alike, each is 
like the other, and "The two are alike," or "They are 
alike," expresses the thought correctly. 

Bound for determined. — It is not correct English to 
say " I am bound to go." The word " bound " is here 
incorrectly used for the word " determined." In the ex- 
pression "The ship is botmd for New Orleans," the word 
botind is derived from a root meaning " to make ready." 

Bourn for country. — bourn is properl}' a boundary 
or limit, and is correctly used in Hamlet's Soliloquy: 

" The undiscovered country from whose bourn (edge) no 
traveler returns." 

It is not correct to use "bourn" as referring to the coun- 
try itself. 

BrinsT for fetch. — Bring implies motion in one direc- 
tion only, toward the speaker. It is correct to say to a 
person at some distance, " Bring me a book ;" " Bring 
your friend with you ;" but to one at our side we should 
say, " Fetch me the book from the library ;" that is, mo- 
tion in two directions, " go and bring," first frmn then to 
the speaker. 


But for that or if. — But should not be made to take 
the place of that or if. The word but is incorrectly used 
in both the following sentences : " I do not doubt but 
[that] he will be here ;" " I should not wonder but [if] 
that were true." 

Calculated for likely. — Calculate means to compute 
or reckon, but its participle is often used in the sense 
of likely, a shorter and better word for the purpose. 

'^The nomination of a strong partisan is calculated [likely] 
to arouse the opposition." 

Even Goldsmith says, 

*' The only danger that attends the multiplicity of publica- 
tions is, that some of them may be calculated to injure rather 
than benefit society." 

Can for may. — Can expresses power; may, possibil- 
ity, permission, probability. I can do that which I have 
the power to do. I may do that which I have permis- 
sion to do, or that of which there is a possibility or a 
probability ; ns, " I may be in the City to-morrow." " It 
may rain before we return." " How many pencils can I 
buy for a dollar?" " How many pencils may be bought 
for a dollar?" 

Carnival for festival or ftolic. — Carnival (carnis vale) 
means literally a f^irewell to flesh. It was formerly used 
to signify a festival celebrated with merriment and rev- 
elry the week before Lent. But the word has been per- 
verted to mean almost any party, frolic, or festival ; and 
we have the expressions "boating carnivals," "sleighing 
carnivals," " skating carnivals," notwithstanding the fact 
that we have legitimate words appropriate to all these 

Catch for overtake. — Catch for overtake is a common 


error, so often made that many will hesitate to believe 
that " try to catch a car " is not better than " try to over- 
take a car," and yet the former is not a correct use of 
" catch," which means " to seize." One may " catch up " 
with a car, but not " catch it " in the sense of overtak- 
ing it. 

Citizen for person or resident. — ^A citizen is one who 
has certain legal and political rights. Aliens are not cit- 
izens, and persons either native born or aliens may be 
residents without being citizens. The word " citizen " is 
improperly used in the following: " A number of citizens 
on the train offered their services in helping to care for 
the wounded." The expression should be " A number 
of persons," etc. "The citizens of the town, of all 
classes and nationalities, entered their protest against 
the nuisance." Better, "The residents," etc. 

Consequence for importance. — Consequence has refer- 
ence to what follows or to results. The root-word is sequoVy 
to follow. Importance refers to things of moment in them- 
selves. To say that something is of no consequence is to 
say that it is of no following or result. The proper ex- 
pression is, " It is of no importance." 

Consider for think. — To consider is to ponder, to think 
about carefully. We hear the expression, " We do not 
consider the topic a fit one for open discussion," or " We 
do not consider him fit for the place," when w^e have not 
considered. We mean " We do not think him fit for the 

Contemptible for contemptuous. — Contemptible means 
that which deserves contempt ; contemptuous means filled 
with contempt. There may be contemptible persons and 
contemptible acts. Our opinions of them are contemptu- 

Convene for convoke. — Convene means to come to- 


gether; convoke^ to call together. It is not correct to say 
" The President convenes Congress." The President may 
convoke Congress, but Congress convenes. 

Correspond with for correspond to.— Man.y writers 
use these phrases interchangeably. Objects correspond to 
each other ; persons, with each other by writing. Thus, 
"The ornaments correspond to each other;" "His man- 
ner of living corresponds to his means ;" " The brothers 
corresponded with each other so long as they lived apart." 

Couple for two. — A couple is two coupled or united by 
some bond. A man and his wife are a couple. Even 
two of the same kind are not always a couple. Thus, 
two gloves or two shoes, to be used together, are a pair ; 
two partridges, a brace ; two oxen, a yoke or pair ; two 
horses, a span or team. Such phrases as " a couple of 
^ggs," "a couple of days," "a couple of dollars," "a 
couple of books," etc., are all incorrect. 

Crime for sin or vice. — ^A crime is a violation of the 
civil law. What is a crime in one country may not be 
a crime in another, and what is a crime at one time may 
not be a crime at another, because the laws may change. 
A sin is a violation of the Divine law. Vice is a course 
of action or a habit of life which is harmful to the actor 
and harmful to others. 

Crushed out for crushed. — Generally the word crushed 
is sufficient to express the thought intended. Thus, 
" The rebellion was crushed " expresses concisely the 
thought to be conveyed. "His skull was crushed" is 
quite as expressive as "His skull was crushed in." 

Curious for strange or remarkable. — Primarily cu- 
rious meant inquisitive, and it is still used in this sense. 
It was used by Addison in the sense of intermeddling 
with all knowledge. It is sometimes used to mean nice 
or intricate, as we speak of images " curiously carved," 


but its use for strange^ remarkable^ or queer is not sanc- 
tioned by the best usage. 

Deadly for deathly. — Deadly is that which causes 
death, while deathly is that which resembles death. 
Thus, "a deadly weapon;" "a deathly pallor." 

Deceiving is frequently used for the phrase trying to 
deceive. It is thus incorrectly used in the sentence "You 
are deceiving me." The meaning to be conveyed is that 
" you are misrepresenting in order to deceive." 

Decimated for reduced. — Decimated means reduced 
by one-tenth. To speak of a regiment's having been 
decimated by one-third is of course incorrect. 

De&Ication for default. — Defalcation means a lopping 
off. The right word to indicate the crime of not paying 
to the proper parties the money which one has collected 
for them is default. The verb indicating this action is 
default, and the criminal is a defaulter, 

Delicious for delighifiil,— Delicious relates to the grat- 
ification of the senses. Delightful relates to the state of 
the mind. Thus, we say "delicious food," "delicious 
fragrance," "a delicious taste," etc.; but "delightful mu- 
sic," "a delightful landscape," "a delightful entertain- 

Depot for station. — A depot is a place of deposit 
where goods are placed for safe keeping. Station is the 
correct name of the place at which passengers gather to 
take the cars. One would not say " The next depot is 
Lancaster," but " The next station is Lancaster." Lit- 
erally, the expression means that the next station at 
which the train stops (sto, stare, to stand) is Lancaster. 

Directly for immediately or instantly. — Directly is 
applied to the action of persons. It is frequently used 
in the sense of "as soon as," but incorrectly so; as, 
" Directly he stopped, the coffin was removed by four 



men." — Dickens. Directly means soon ; as, " We will c«all 
them directly." Immediately refers to the course of time, 
and signifies " witliout interruption or intervening time." 
Instantly means " in an instant ;" it is a stronger word 
than "immediately." 
.* Dirt for earth or soil. — Dirt is filth. The word has 
properly no other meaning. But we hear persons speak 
of "dirt roads," meaning unpaved roads. These are 
properly earth roads or gravel roads. The word dirt 
should be restricted to its proper use. 

Divine for clergyman. — Divine is properl}" an adjec- 
tive, but it is frequently used as a noun as a substitute 
for the word clergyman, a much more appropriate word. 

Dock for wharf. — A dock is an open place, without a 
roof, into which anything, usually a ship, is received 
and enclosed for safety. So also a prisoner is placed in 
the dock during trial. A wharf is properly the pier to 
which a vessel is fastened while it lies in the dock. 

Dress for gown. — Dress is really a general term in- 
cluding one's entire apparel, undergarments included. 
The proper word to apply to the outer garment of a 
woman, often known as a dress, is goum. Frock, though 
now rarely used, is applied to the outer apparel of either 

Drive for ride. — Many persons make a distinction in 
these two terms, by limiting the use of the word ride to 
horseback exercise, which might now be extended prob- 
ably to exercise on a bicycle, and using the word drive 
for carriage-riding. But we may ride on horseback or 
in a carriage. We may take a horseback ride, a carriage 
ride, or a ride in the cars. The action in any of these 
cases is riding; the person who manages the horse or 
the engine is the driver. " To take a boat ride or a car- 
riage ride in the Park " is correct English. " To take a 


ride in the Park " is ambiguous. It may mean a ride 
on horseback or a ride in a carriage, or even in a street- 

Dry for thirsty. — Dry denotes the absence of moist- 
ure. Thirsty signifies the desire for drink. 

Either. — The hypercritical object to the use of the 
conjunction eit/ier when more than two are spoken of. 
While either^ used as an adjective, as "Either of the 
boys," is limited in its application to two, there is no 
such restriction in its use as a conjunction, the correl- 
ative of or. We may say " Either the boy or his sister," 
and we may also say, " Either James, George, William, 
or Henry," or we may supply the conjunctions, and say, 
"Either James, or George, or William, or Henry," in 
which case either is used as a, correlative with each of 
the conjunctions separately. 

The foregoing remarks apply with equal force to the 
use of neither as a correlative conjunction. 

Elder for older. — Elder is properly applied to persons 
only, while older is applied to objects of any kind, ani- 
mate or inanimate. One horse or one book may be 
older, but never elder, than another. 

Empty for vacant. — Empty denotes containing noth- 
ing; as, "an empty purse;" "an empty pail." Vacant 
refers to what may be occupied or is intended to be 
occupied; as, "a vacant chair." A house is vacant 
when no one lives in it; it is empty when it is devoid 
of furniture or belongings. 

Enough for sufficient. — Enough is the quantity which 
one wishes to have ; sufficient is the quantity which one 
needs. Enough implies more than sufficient. 

Epithet for n&me,— Epithet is given by dictionaries as 
an adjective. The noun to which it corresponds is name 
or appellation. The words " villain," " coward," " fool," 


" knave," are appellations, but " vile," " cowardly," " fool- 
ish," " knavish," "good," "just," " honest," etc., are epi- 
thets. The import of epithet may be either good or bad. 
When, therefore, we apply an epithet to a person we use 
the adjective ; when we call him names we use nouns. 

Equally as well for equally well or as well. — As well 
as means substantially the same as " equally." " They 
can do this equally well," or "They can do this as well 
as we," is correct; but "They can do this equally as 
well," or "equally as well as," is tautological. 

Every for all. — The word every in such expressions as 
" every praise," " every confidence," and the like, is used 
incorrectly. If there were a number of praises or con- 
fidences, these expressions might be correct, for every 
means " each of all." It cannot be applied to abstrac- 
tions. If we mean the term to apply to a number col- 
lectively or to abstractions, the proper word is all; as, 
" All men are liable to err ;" " We had all confidence in 

Evidence for testimony. — Evidence is frequently mis- 
used for the word testimony, "Evidence relates to the 
convictive view of one's mind ; testimony, to the know- 
ledge of another concerning some fact," says Matthews. 
In fact, the evidence in a case is sometimes the reverse 
of the testimony. 

Except for unless. — Except is a preposition. It cannot 
be used to connect clauses. The correct word to use where 
a clause is to be added is the conjunction unless. Thus, 
*' No one need apply except he has a certificate," should 
be " No one need apply unless he has a certificate." 

Excessively for exceedingly. — ^^Exceedingly hot " may 
mean simply very hot; ^^excessively hot^^ indicates an ex- 
cess of heat. We may not object to great cold, but we 
may complain when it is excessively cold. 


Executed for hanged. — Latterly the word executed has 
in a measure taken the place of the word hanged. To 
execute is " to carry out, to perform." Thus, " The Pres- 
ident is bound to execute the laws." But it will "be 
noticed that no such meaning as " carry out " or " per- 
form " can be applied to the taking of one's life by 
hanging, in the execution of the law. As between the 
two words hanged and hung, the former is the proper 
word for depriving of life by hanging. Our clothes are 
hung in the wardrobe, and banners are hung on the 
walls, but persons are hanged by the neck to deprive 
them of life. 

Exemplary for excellent. — Exemplary means more 
than excellent, though frequently used as a synonym for 
this word. Exemplary refers really to setting an exam- 
ple that should be followed, as in " exemplary conduct." 

Expect for suppose. — The word expect is loosely used 
for think, suppose, giiess. It should be used only in re- 
ferring to that which is to come. Thus, " I suppose you 
had an enjoyable visit;" "I expect you will have an 
enjoyable visit." 

Experience for receive or suffer. — Thus, we suffer dis- 
comfort or receive unkind treatment. We do not prop- 
erly experience either, though it has been so written, 
but incorrectly, " The prisoners experienced many hard- 
ships." " Experienced " is also improperly used for felt, 
as in the following : " The child experienced a new sen- 

Extend for send. — Nearly every society now "ex- 
tends" invitations when it should "send" them. Ex- 
tend means to "stretch forth." Do we mean to stretch 
forth an invitation when we send it? "Extend " is, of 
course, much used in the sense of "send," but not 
correctly so. 


Factor for feature. — Factor is a much misused word 
when it is substituted for the word feature. Thus, " One 
of the important factors of the painting was a beautiful 
sunset scene." The writer meant, of course, one of the 
important features of the painting. 

Female for woman. — As an adjective to denote sex 
the word female is permissible, as in speaking of teach- 
ers they are referred to in reports and elsewhere as male 
teachers and female teachers. As a noun the word female 
may be applied to other animals as well as man, and it 
should not be used in place of the word woman. We 
speak of the human members of the male sex as men or 
gentlemen ; we should in the same manner speak of the 
human members of the female sex as women or ladies. 

Few, a few. — The accuracy of the expression a few 
has been questioned. A fexo and a many, with proper 
modifications, are correct. Few, preceded by a, means 
"some;" as, "A few (some) came yesterday." Few, 
without the article, means "almost none;" as,. "Few 
came to-day." In the sentence " A great many came," 
a great, meaning " very," is properly a complex adverb 
modifying the adjective many. We have the expression 
in another form : 

" Full many a flower is born to blush unseen," 

where many a is a complex adjective modifying the 
noun flower; and full, an adverb, modifying the adjec- 
tive "many a." 

Figure for amount, sum, or number. — Common 
usage has made the word figure do duty for the ex- 
pressions amount, number, sura. Thus, we have " Seven 
hundred and twenty dollars, or about that figure 
[amount];" "The united sales amounted to a very 
large figure [sum]." Even Dean Trench uses the ex- 


p'ression, "has attained a circulation of 1000; no very 
large figure [number], certainly." 

Final completion. — The adjective " final " is here un- 
necessary', as every completion is final. 

Fly for flee. — These two words are frequently misused, 
one for the other. Fly means to move with wings, either 
swiftly or slowly. Flee means to move away with vol- 
untary rapidity. " Fly to the mountains for safety " 
evidently should be "Flee to the mountains," etc. A 
newspaper lately, in referring to the burning of a sem- 
inary building crowded with girls, says that "the fire 
burned so rapidly and the danger became so great, 
that the students were compelled to fly in their night- 

From hence, from thence, from whence. — In each 
of these expressions the word from is superfluous. 
Whence means "from where;" therefore "from whence" 
means "from from w^here." The same. is true of the 
words hence and thence, each includes the word from as 
part of its meaning. " From whence cometh my help?" 
should be " Whence cometh my help?" 

Graduated. — Shall we say graduated at or was gi^adu- 
atedfromf Modern usage seems to sanction either form. 
Gould, in Good English^ refers to a memoir of Noah 
Webster, in which it is stated that he graduated with 
reputation in 1788, and then adds, "The biographer 
might as well have said that * he born on the 16th of 
October, 1758.'" There can be no question that the 
form was graduated^ meaning " was graded," is correct, 
and one can make no mistake in using that form. The 
institution does the graduating, and the student is grad- 

Gratuitous for unwarranted or unreasonable. — The 
word gratuitous means " without recompense or equiv- 


alent," or "without proof." A gratuitous assertion is 
therefore properly one that has no proof, or is un- 
founded; but an unwairanted or xmreasonable assertion 
is not necessarily a gratuitous assertion. 

Grow for become. — Grow means to increase, to be- 
come larger in quantity, quality, or condition. Thus, a 
smooth sea may become rough and grow rougher ; a clear 
night may become dark and grow black or darker; the 
moon may grow brighter, but become smaller. 

Ice-cream and ice-tea are terms now commonly used 
for what are properly " iced-cream " and " iccd-tea." 

Issue for number. — A paper or a magazine is issued 
at regular periods, and numbered according to the num- 
ber of times it has been issued during a definite period. 
We should speak, therefore, not of " a late issue " or " a 
recent issue," but of a late or a recent number of a paper. 

Jew, Hebrew, Israelite. — These words are now prop- 
erly synonyms. Originally they were terms applied to 
the race. A prominent writer says, " Under the theoc- 
racy they were known as Hebrews, under the monarchy 
as Israelites, and under foreign domination as Jews^ At 
present they are known as Hebrexos in race and language, 
as Israelites in religion, and as Jews in all three senses. 
We may speak of the Hebrew language or the Hebrew 
race, but not of the Hebrew religion. " Jewish " is now 
more commonly applied than " Israelitish " to the re- 

Jewelry for jewels. — Jewelry properly refers to the 
place where jewels are kept. It belongs to the same 
class of words as library, shrubbery, armory, grocery, 
infirmary, etc., all of which indicate place. " These are 
my jewels,^^ said the mother of the Gracchi. 

Lady for wife. — The word lady is interchangeable with 
the word woman. The word wife is used in a more re- 


Btricted sense. A cultured man never refers to his wife 
as his lady. 

Last for latest. — The last has no successors. Last has 
reference to the order of succession ; latest has reference 
to the order of time. We should therefore say, " I have 
received your latest letter," not "your last letter." Many 
others may follow the latest. 

Leave. — This word is frequently, though incorrectly, 
used without an object ; as, " I shall leave to-morrow." 
The object should be mentioned ; as, " I leave the city 
to-morrow," or " I leave liome this morning." 

Less for fewer. — Less refers to size ; fewer, to number. 
We should not say " There were less than fifty present," 
but " There were fewer than fifty present." 

Lie, lay. — The forms of tlie intransitive verb lie, mean- 
ing to recline, are lie, lay, lain. Thus, " I lie on the couch 
now. I lay on it yesterday. I have lain on it frequently. 
I will lie on it to-morrow." 

The forms of the transitive verb lay are lay, laid, hid. 
Lay denotes transitive action. 

The following sentences show the distinction between 
the words : 

Present. — I lie on the lounge (rest) ; I lay the child on 
the lounge (action). 

Past. — I lay on the bed yesterday (rest) ; I laid the 
child on the bed (action). 

Present Perfect. — I have lain on the lounge (rest); I 
have laid the child on the lounge (action). 

Future. — I will lie on the lounge (rest) ; I will lay the 
child on the lounge (action). 

Errors in the use of these words are frequent. 

Senate Rule II. says, " When a question is under de- 
bate, no motion shall be received but to adjourn, to lie 
on ike tablef*^ etc. A rule of the House of Representa- 


lives uses the same expression. Of course the phrase 
should be " to hiy on the table ;" that is, to lay a motion 
or a proposition on the table. As the rule stands, it would 
seem to mean that a member of the Senate or of the 
House is privileged to make a motion (movement?) to 
lie on the table. The rule as it stands might be con- 
strued as a reflection on the sobriety of Congress. 

Liikewise for also. — Likewise couples actions or states 
of being ; also classes together objects or qualities. Thus, 
" The canary sang cheerily and the robin likewise ;" " He 
is witty, also wise." 

Loan for lend. — Loan is used properly as a noun, the 
name of the thing lent. The word expressing the action 
is lend. Thus, " Lend me your knife." 

Most for almost. — Most is the superlative of much, 
and refers to quantity or degree. Most is frequently 
used incorrectly in the sense of almost or nearly ; as, 
"Most anybody would like the work." 

Most for very. — Most is frequently used improperly 
for very. Thus, 

" I had not been long at the university before I distinguished 
myself by a most profound silence." — Addison, 

" He was a most complete orator and debater in the House 
of Commons." — Chesterfield, 

"His affections were so social and generous that when he 
had money, he gave it most liberally away." — W, Irving, 

Mutual for common. — Mutual means reciprocal. It 
refers to actions or sentiments, not to objects. Love or 
friendship may be mutual, but friends cannot be mu- 
tual. "Our Mutual Friend "is a misnomer. We may 
speak of our common friend if necessary, as we speak 
of our common enemy; that is, the friend of two or 
more in common. 

One, when used in the plural, is not grammatically 


incorrect, but it is better not to use the expression as in 
"I found several very good ones among the books he 
bought." Omit the words very good, and the sense is 

One-half for a half. — Inasmuch as there can be only 
one half, as two halves are a whole one, it is better to 
say "two and a half," "six and a half," etc., than two 
and one-half or six and one-half. Such expressions as 
" two and one-fourth " or " two and three-fourths," are 

Partially for partly. — Partially means properly " with 
unjust bias." When anything is done in part it is partly 

Patron for customer. — One who deals with another 
or buys of him is a customer, not a patron. 

People for persons. — People means a body of persons 
regarded collectively, a nation. "Many people are of 
this opinion," should be "Many persons are of this 

Plenty for plentiftil. — Plentiful denotes the presence 
of plenty, and is the proper form for the adjective. 
Thus, " We have a plentiful supply ;" " Money will be 

Portion for part. — A portion is a part set aside for a 
special purpose or to be considered by itself A part is 
usually an indefinite portion. Thus, "Some parts of 
the city were crowded." 

Present for introduce. — Present means to introduce to 
superiors. Thus, persons of certain rank are presented 
at court, and foreign ministers are presented to the Pres- 
ident of our own country. Friends are introduced, Wq 
introduce our friends to each other, usually the younger 
to the older, a gentleman to a lady, the person in the 
lower position to the one in the higher. 


Previous for previously. — The latter is the adverbial 
form, and is the correct one to use in modifying a verb. 
Thus, "Previously to my coming no one had been 

Promise for assure. — The former word is frequently 
misused for the latter. Thus, "I promise you I was 
much delighted." 

Proposition for proposal. — A proposition is something 
submitted for one's consideration ; a pvposal is a thing 
proposed or something offered to be done. 

Proven for proved. — The verb prove is regarded by 
grammarians as a regular verb, whose past tense ends in 
ed. Proved is therefore the correct past tense form, and 
there is no need of tl>e word " proven," though it is fre- 
quently used. 

Purpose for propose. — Purpose indicates a settled state 
of mind ; propose indicates only a contingent state. I pur- 
pose to do that pn which my decision is fixed. 1 pro- 
pose to do that on which my mind has not definitely 

Quantity for number. — The word quantity should be 
used in connection with a mass not to be counted ; as, 
"a quantity of wheat," or "a quantity of iron;" but 
when speaking of individual objects the word number 
is the proper word to use ; as, " a number of sticks," " a 
number of books," " a number of persons." 

Quite for very. — Quite means completely or entirely. 
Such expressions as " quite a number," " quite an exhi- 
bition," "quite cold," are not in accordance with the 
best usage; but we may say "quite full," "quite 
empty," etc. 

Recommend for advise or request. — Recommend 
means literally to re-commend, or commend to some 
one else. In the sentence, ^^ Resolved, — That tlie mem- 


bers of this association be recommended to meet at 9 
o'clock," etc, the word " advised " should be substituted 
for the word " recommended." 

BeligiotLS, pious. — A 'piotia man has reverence and 
love for a supreme being. A religious man acknowledges 
a bond which requires the performance of certain duties 
and rites in relation to a supreme being or to a future 
state, or to both. Jews, Mohammedans, Christians, es- 
pouse different religions, but the piety of all of them is 
the same. 

Remember for recollect. — What we hold in the mind 
we remember, what we recall on effort we recoUect. We 
may remember and not be able to recall or recollect when 
we wish to do so. We cannot recollect without remem- 

Kemit for send. — The word remit means to "send 
again," or "to send back," and there seems to be no 
good reason why it should be used for the word send. 
If one were to comply literally with the request to remit 
when a bill is sent, he would send the bill back instead 
of paying it. The word has, however, found a place in 
commercial transactions from which it could be dis- 
lodged with difficulty. 

Rendition for renderingr. — Rendition denotes surrender 
or giving up, as when we speak of the rendition of a be- 
sieged town or the rendition of a pledge for the payment 
of a debt. When a drama is well presented we say cor- 
rectly that " the rendering of the play was admirable." 

Restive for restless. — Restive means standing stub- 
bornly still, as a balky horse. Restless implies uneasy 

Reverend, honorable. — These words are adjectives, 
and should be used only Avith the names to which they 
belong. The definite article is always used with them. 


Thus, "The Rev. Mr. Miller," "The Rev. James Dob- 
son," "The Hon. Mr. Stevens." 

Section for neifirhborhood, vicinity, regrion. — The use 
of the word section in the sense here noted, originated 
probably in connection with the land sections of the 
West, but it is not applicable to the words " neighbor- 
hood," "vicinity," or "region," and it should not be 
used in their stead. 

Shall, will. — Probably no two words in our language 
are more frequently used incorrectly than sliall and icill. 

The following are the simplest rules for the use of 
these words in independent sentences: 

To denote futurity or to pi-edict^ shall is used in the first 
person, and will in the second and the third. Thus, 

1. " I shall be there." 

2. "Will you be there?" 

3. "He will be there." 

In promises, will is used in the first person and shall in 
the second and the third. Thus, 

1. "I will go." 

2. " You shall go." 

3. " He shall go." 

In dependent sentences, the usage is as follows : 
When a subordinate noun-clause is introduced by the 
word that and modifies such verbs as say, fear, think, etc., 
if the noun-clause and the principal clause have difier- 
ent subjects, the distinction is the same as in independ- 
ent sentences. Thus, 

1. "The teacher says that Horace will come well prepared." 

2. "Mother says that you^ill have a pleasant visit." (Futu- 

8. " My fieitber predicts that I shall succeed." (Futurity.) 


4. "They say that Henry shall go with us." (Promise or 

6. "The teacher says that you shall shut the door." (Voli- 

6. " The boy fears that I will punish him." (Volition.) 

When the subordinate clause and the principal clause 
have the same subject, and in all dependent clauses in- 
troduced by if J when, aUhmigh, etc., shall is used to express 
futurity in all the persons, and mil in all the persons 
implies an exercise of the will on the part of the person 
represented by the subject of the clause. Thus, 

1. " The doctor says that he shall be pleased to go with us." 

2. " I think I shall be glad to know your friends." 

3. " You fear that you shall fail." 

4. " Henry says that he will meet us at the office." 
6. " You said that you will pay the expenses." 

6. " I think that I will go along." 

7. " When He shall appear, we shall be like Him." 

8. " If you will let me help you, I shall be greatly pleased." 

9. " If he will give us permission, we will hold the concert in 
the chapel." 

10. " Although we will not consent, they will leave at day- 

Shall and Will in Qnestions. 

In questions will is never correctly used in the first 
person except when it repeats a question asked by some 
one else ; as, " Will you lend me your knife ?" " Will I 
lend you my knife? Certainly." 

In questions in which the second or the third person 
is used, the auxiliary wliich is expected in the answer is 
used in the question. Thus, 

"Shall you be glad to take the trip?" " I shall." (Futurity.) 
" Will you go with us ?" " I will." (Volition.) 
" Will your brother go with us ?" " He will." 


Shoiild, woiild. — Should is the past tense of shall; and 
wouldj the past tense of tciU. 

The rules which govern the use of "shall" and "will" 
apply also to the use of " should " and " would," but 
should ^nd woxdd have in addition certain meanings of 
their own to which attention must be given. 

Should is sometimes used in the sense of " ought ;" as, 
" You should attend to the work promptly ;" " I should 
have gone ;" " They should have informed us." 

Should is used also in a conditional sense ; as, " If it 
should be very cold, we would not go." 

Would is sometimes used to denote habitual action; 
as, " Mother would sit in her easy-chair and wateh the 
children at their play." 

Would also sometimes expresses a wish, as in David's 
Lament, " Would God, I had died for thee, O Absalom, 
my son, my son I" 

They who keep in mind these special meanings of 
should and would may safely follow the rules given for 
shall and will^ remembering that "should" and "would" 
are simply the past tenses of these words. 

Sit, set, settle. — Sit is an active but intransitive verb, 
and like lie it implies rest. Set is a transitive verb that 
implies action ; it needs an object to complete its mean- 

The principal parts of sit are sit, sat, sat ; of set^ they 
are set, set, set. 

The use of the words may be distinguished as follows: 

Present, — I sit on the bench (rest). 

I set the pitcher on the table (action). 
Past, — I sat on the bench (rest). 

I set the broom in the closet (action). 
J^es, Per/, — I have sat on the bench (rest). 

I have set t\i^\>ioom\ii\\i^ <:\Qi9At (^action). 


Of the verb sit, the other tense forms in the indicative 
are " had sat," " will sit," " will have sat." 

Of the verb set, the remaining tense forms in the in- 
dicative are "had set," "will set," "will have set." 

The query as to whether we should say a "sitting 
hen " or a " setting hen," may be answered by saying, 
We set the hen, she sits, and is a sitting hen. As to a 
" sitting " or a " setting " of eggs, they are to be set or 
placed in the nest, and are therefore a " setting of eggs." 

Why not say " The sun sits " instead of " The sun 
sets," inasmuch as the action is intransitive ? The word 
sets in this case comes from the Anglo-Saxon setlgange, for 
settling. "The sun sets in the West" is only another 
form for " The sun settles in the West," in which settles 
is an intransitive verb. 

Social for sociable. — Sociable means fitted for society, 
quick to unite with others, usually for pleasure. Social 
denotes the relation of men in society, or communities, 
or commonwealths. Thus, persons who are quick to 
join with others in a friendly way are sociable. A man 
may be deeply interested in social science and yet not 
be sociable. 

State for say. — State in the sense of say is a useless 
word. It really means to set forth the condition under 
which a person or a thing stands. Thus, a bank states 
its condition ; a debater states a proposition. 

Stop for stay. — We stay at a hotel, not stop. One mny 
stop at a hotel as he stops temporarily at a street-corner, 
but his remaining for a time at a hotel or other place of 
entertainment is expressed by the word stay. 

Storming for raining. — A storm is a commotion of 
the elements. It needs more than rain to make a storm. 
Thus, we may have a wind-storm, a hailstorm of wind and 
hail, or a rain-storm of wind and rain. 



Such for so. — Suchj an adjective, is incorrectly used 
for so. Thus, when one says that he never saw " such 
a vicious dog," he means to modify the adjective 
" vicious," and he therefore should use the adverb so, 
and express the sentence thus, " I never saw so vicious 
a dog." 

Than you can help. — This expression is frequently 
used in such sentences as " Make no more noise than 
you can help," which really means " Make no noise that 
you cannot help," or " Make all the noise you can." A 
better form would be, "Make no noise that you can 
avoid (or help)." 

The first for any. — " The first " as a substitute for any 
is an expression for which there seems to be no necessity. 
The following are fair examples of its improper use for 
the word any: "I haven't the first objection to your re- 
maining ;" " I have yet to see the first instance of any 
one's succeeding under such circumstances." 

These kind, those sort, and similar expressions, 
where an adjective denoting plurality is used to mod- 
ify a noun in the singular number, are incorrect. The 
correct forms are "this kind," "that sort," etc. 

Transpire for occur, pass. — Transpire means to breathe 
through or across. It cannot be used correctly in the 
sense of occur or pass. Events occur and years pass, but 
neither events nor years transpire. It is never correct 
to use the word " transpire " where the phrase " to take 
place" can be substituted. 

Truism for truth. — A truism is a self-evident truth ; 
as, " All men are bipeds." " The sum of the three an- 
gles of a triangle is equal to two right angles " is a truth, 
but it needs proof or demonstration, and is not therefore 
a truism. 

Try for make. — The word try is incorrectly used in 


connection with the word experiment. We do not try 
an experiment; we make an experiment. 

Ugly for ill-tempered. — Though not in general use, 
the wor^Lugly is sometimes used for ill-tempered. Thus, 
" He is ugly in his conduct ;" *' The boy has an ugly dis- 
position." In such cases the word ill-tempered is usu- 
ally the proper substitute for the word ugly. 

Veracity for truth. — These words are synonyms, but 
the expression " a man of truth and veracity " is fre- 
quently used. Veracity is properly applied to persons, 
and truth, to statements. Thus, we speak of a man's 
veracity, but of the truth or truthfulness of an assertion. 

Verbal for oral. — Verbal means consisting of Avords, 
which may be either spoken or written. Oral refers to 
spoken words only. A verbal report, so often referred 
to, is simply a report in words. We should speak of a 
spoken report, therefore, as an oral report. 

Vicinity.— The word vicinity should not be used with- 
out its being preceded by a modifying word. We may 
say " This city and vicinity " because a modifying word, 
this, is understood before vicinity, and we may say 
" Philadelphia and its vicinity," but not " Philadelphia 
and vicinity." 

Widow woman for widow. — Widow is the proper 
appellation for a woman whose husband has died. The 
word woman is superfluous. We might as well use the 
expression " a widower man " as " a widow woman." 

Whereabouts. — There is a strong tendency to use 
this word in the plural, probably because it ends with 
8. Thus, a newspaper says, " The whereabouts of the 
escaped prisoner are unknown." "His whereabouts 
have not been discovered." Whereabouts is in the sin- 
gular number. It means simply one's location or abid- 
ing-place. Think of saying " His abiding-place are un- 


known " I The verb agreeing with " whereabouts " must 
be in the singular number. 

Whole for all. — Wfiole refers to the component parts 
of a single body. It is therefore singular in meaning. 
All denotes a collection of individuals. It is better, 
therefore, to say " All of the family are present " than 
"The whole of the family are present." 

The Spectator says, "The Red-Cross Knight runs 
through the whole steps of the Christian life." It 
should be " all the steps " instead of " the whole steps." 
Alison, in his "History of the French Revolution," says, 
" The whole Russians are inspired with the belief that 
their mission is to conquer the world." He should have 
said " All the Russians are," etc. 

Witness for see. — Witness as a verb means to be able 
to give testimony from personal knowledge. We may 
vntness a theft, a murder, or the execution of a deed, in 
each case so as to be able to give testimony. We see, we 
do not witness, a scene, a mountain, a painting, or any 
other object. 

To avoid fine, this book should be returned on 
or before the date last stamped below 

SON — »-40 



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